Seven Years in the Making

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Funded on September 23, 2014
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"Seven Years in the Making" is a new photographic series documenting the effects of my mother's "mental health" on my family and my home, and will be part of a new solo exhibition premiering at Johalla Projects. 

About This Project

Since 2007 I have been working on a photographic project documenting the effects of my mother’s "mental health" on my father, two brothers, sister, and our homes.

In December 2014, I will have my first solo exhibition of this work at Johalla Projects in Chicago's West Town neighborhood. Having a solo exhibition is a significant step in any artist’s career and one that must not be passed up!. However, the costs associated with putting on a solo exhibition are daunting, most significantly the cost to frame approximately one dozen large-scale photographs. Your generous contribution will support the costs to mount this exhibition, including printing and framing.

Project Statement

The circumstances of my upbringing have heavily influenced and shaped my artistic practice. I was born in Erie Pennsylvania, where my family still resides. For the first part of my childhood my mother struggled with alcoholism, which eventually led to my parents divorce when I was only four years old. My father received custody of me and I was raised by him, along with the help of my grandparents.

My mother re-married shortly after the divorce and had three children, Ryan, Nicholas and Stephanie. Her second husband (my siblings’ biological father) was an alcoholic and addict with a wicked temper; she divorced him immediately after my sister was born. He gave full custody to my mother and they have not had contact with him since the divorce. Shortly after she ended her second marriage, my mother re-married for a third time. They are still married.

My father is from a very large, close-knit family and wanted a large family of his own. However he never re-married; instead he dedicated his life to raising me. For this reason it was important to him that I had a close relationship with my siblings. He spent a lot of time with my brothers and they quickly became inseparable. With no real father figure in their lives, my father took on this role. When my brothers were in their mid-teens they moved in with my father. He is currently still supporting my brothers, though they are not his biological children.

I began making images of my father, two brothers and sister seven years ago when I moved away from my family for the first time to attend graduate school at Columbia College Chicago. At this time my mother’s mental health took a turn for the worst and our family began to unravel. I felt an urgency to be at home. Making photographs was a reason for me to go home, they were my way of understanding the complexities of our situation.

The photographs in this project are glimpses into the lives of my family members and our homes. They depict our history and provide insight into our future. The images are of private moments shared between my father, sister, brothers, and I. The photographs reveal the strength of my family’s bond as we come to terms with my mother’s mental health and our ever-changing family dynamic. The images picture the experiences of my siblings as they transition into adulthood and my father’s struggles to hold everything together.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $10
    Thank you and personal invitation to the opening reception ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Recognition in the exhibition catalog and personal invitation to the opening reception ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    8 x 10 (Special 3AP edition) print plus recognition in the exhibition catalog and a personal invitation to the opening reception ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    12 x 15 Signed Print (Special 3AP edition) plus recognition in exhibition catalog and a personal invitation to the opening reception ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    16 x 20 Signed Print (Special 3AP edition) plus recognition in exhibition catalog and a personal invitation to the opening reception ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Lisa Lindvay

Chandler Family Awardee

Lisa Lindvay (b. 1983, Erie, Pennsylvania) earned her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago (2009) and BFA in Applied Media Arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (2005). Lindvay’s photographs have been exhibited at Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover …

View Lisa Lindvay's profile
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    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Nan Fornal

    • Michael Ray

    • Jesse Malmed

    • Ani Katz

    • Jennifer Ray

    • John Bavaro

    • Maggie Finegan

    • Paul Buenvenida & Gary Heiferm

    • Julie Marie Lemon

    • Bob Thall

    • Kate Lorenz

    • Justin Rathell

    • Jennifer Keats

    • David Cullen

    • Rita & Jon Albertson

    • Nick Albertson

    • Julie Boam

    • Daniel Greenberg

    • Stacie Scott

    • Barbara Diener

    • gary heiferman

    • Chuck Thurow

    • Renee Krystek

    • Jason Reblando

    • Beth Marrier

    • Julie Jones

    • Mark Beasley

    • Jo Cates

    • Niki Grangruth

    • David Lindvay

    • Julie Weber

    • Jon Satrom

    • Emily Lindvay

    • Enid Stegmaier-Vilar

    • Garrett Baumer

    • Jefferson Godard

    • Barbara Chambers

    • Ben Fischer

    • Ken Witt

    • Nan Fornal

    • Adrienne McCue

    • Virginia Albertson

    • Annie Schmidt

    • Cory Nalbone


    • Laurel Finegan

    • William Sewell

    • Jacob Watson

    • Maureen Buckel

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3AP Presenting Partner:

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 Additional support provided by: 

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