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Echoes of Ellis Island: Featuring Photography of Jarob Ortiz

Dates and Times for this Past Event


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The first floor of the Chevy Chase Pavilion will be transformed into a photo gallery and cultural space showing photos of Ellis Island in partnership with Lost Origins Gallery and the International Focus on the Story Photography Festival. Don’t miss the opportunity to mingle with friends, hear from the photographer Jarob Ortiz, and connect with neighbors on three dates this summer.

June 23: Opening Celebration, 6-9 pm

July 7: Photographer's Discussion, 6-8 pm

July 21: Closing Celebration, 6-9 pm

The gallery will be open each Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 3 pm.

Location: Chevy Chase Pavilion, 5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW, First Floor

More about the exhibit: The Echoes of Ellis Island is a collection of work from Jarob Ortiz, a large format photographer for the National Park Service. He created these images from 2016 and 2018 as part of a Historic American Buildings Survey project to highlight important, historic architectural, engineering and landscape details around the island.

Through these frames, he puts viewers in the shoes of the millions of immigrants who passed through the U.S. immigration port at Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954. Today, the old immigration facility is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, with the main building now restored and serving as the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration.

Ortiz’s images, however, take us beyond the parts of the island that are open to the public to areas that still appear as they did when immigrants passed through the island. Ortiz’s images were painstakingly achieved utilizing traditional zone systems photography on large format film cameras in conjunction with off-camera flash. The poor lighting conditions in some of the areas required an immensely detail-oriented approach to produce detail-rich negatives for future generations to consume and reflect upon.

The National Park Service hired Ortiz in 2016 to a job that has often been referred to as the service’s “Ansel Adams” position. While Adams is famous for the photos of National Parks he made for the U.S. Department of Interior, Ortiz’s work is more often focused on historic, sometimes endangered, structures. But the one thing Ortiz has in common with Adams is that he also uses large format view cameras in his work, though Ortiz also uses more modern cameras, as well.

Every image Ortiz creates for the National Park Service serves as public record and is archived at the Library of Congress for public use. The Echoes of Ellis Island was curated by Maria Daniel Balcazar, an internationally recognized documentary and fine art photographer who is a member of the Focus on the Story Board of Directors.

This exhibition was made possible by the National Park Service with the generous support of the Friendship Heights Alliance, Clarion Partners, Chevy Chase Pavilion, and DSLBD.