Melissa Ann Pinney: In Their Own Light and Dylan Yarbrough with Marcela Ossa: I Am An Eclipse

 July 5–August 4, 2023
Reception: Thursday, July 27, 5–7 p.m.
Note: All visitors must RSVP via Eventbrite for entry to the exhibition during the reception on July 27


Columbia College Chicago’s Glass Curtain Gallery is pleased to present two simultaneous exhibitions by recipients of the Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues—In Their Own Light by Melissa Ann Pinney and I Am An Eclipse by Dylan Yarbrough in collaboration with poet Marcela Ossa.

In Their Own Light is the result of Melissa Ann Pinney’s five-year artist residency in Chicago Public Schools, which coincided with the historic merger of two segregated schools, escalating racial and gender inequalities, gun violence, and the challenges brought about by a global pandemic. The images in this exhibition depict an astonishing range of emerging identities amid friendships and school rituals. Pinney’s portraits push back in complex ways against stereotypical, often negative images of these students to honor and celebrate the young people in our public schools.

 I Am An Eclipse is a socially engaged art project led by photographer Dylan Yarbrough and poet Marcela Ossa in conjunction with Centro Romero, a long-standing nonprofit organization supporting the immigrant and refugee community of Chicago. In the creation of this work, members of the Centro Romero community were prompted to write a short composition of creative nonfiction and to sit for a portrait. The resulting artwork is presented as diptychs, with the participant's written composition displayed on the left panel and a silhouette portrait on the right panel. The written pieces encompass a range of styles, including poetry, short stories, testimonials, and reflections centered on the theme of "Eclipse." The photographs, captured from a side view, utilize striking lighting to create a silhouette effect. The silhouette acts as an eclipse, simultaneously revealing and concealing the identity of the subject. The artwork invites viewers to reflect on themes of immigration, community, the power of testimony, and the forces of light and dark. 

These exhibitions are supported by the Diane Dammeyer Fellowship in Photographic Arts and Social Issues and partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.  


Marcela Ossa is a Colombian-American singer, actor, poet, and visual artist based in Chicago. She received her bachelor of music in vocal performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She is passionate about using the power of music, theater, and art to make meaningful connections with people. In 2021, Ossa debuted her poetry book, Cilantro y Café, published by Allbook Books. 

Melissa Ann Pinney has exhibited nationally and internationally and has won numerous fellowships and awards. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Awards, and a National Endowment for the Arts Midwest Regional Fellowship. Pinney was selected for three large documentary projects that were exhibited, published, and archived in Chicago: Changing Chicago in 1987, City 2000, and Artists of CPS Lives in 2018, where she began her ongoing project in the Chicago Public Schools. Pinney's photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, San Francisco MOMA, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, among many others. Pinney’s monographs include Regarding Emma: Photographs of American Women & Girls, Girl Ascending and TWO, with Ann Patchett. Her upcoming book, In Their Own Light: Photographs from Chicago Public Schools, is scheduled for release in October, 2023. 

Dylan Yarbrough is a photographer, designer, artist, and educator based in Chicago. He received his MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. He currently teaches photography at Columbia College Chicago and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His artwork investigates themes of identity, community, place, and well-being. Dylan is the ‘22–‘23 recipient of the Diane Dammeyer Fellowship.


DEPS is proud to present the DEPS Artist Profile Series featuring Melissa Ann Pinney and Dylan Yarbrough with collaborator Marcela Ossa. The DEPS Artist Profile Series is managed by DEPS Exhibitions Assistant Gallery Coordinator Sierra Delamarter. Graphic design is managed by DEPS Exhibitions Social Media Assistant Coordinator Rachel Manlubatan. To view this interactive document featuring an artist interview click on the image below

                      Artist Profile             Artist Profile


Glass Curtain Gallery webcam
Click on the arrows in the bottom right corner for a live view of the exhibition.

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Exhibition Contact: Mark Porter / / 312-369-6643