Writes Doherty in her Artist Statement, “Jim Fogarty, known affectionately as "Brother Jim," wears a hand-sewn habit made out of scraps of denim, now tattered after over 30 years of use. That's how long he's been traversing the dangerous streets by foot, carrying only rosary beads to pass out - that, and offering prayers, and maybe a little hope. By now, the residents largely all know who he is, and often come running when they see him coming down the street, or call out from their windows, asking him to pray for them. Once upon a time, he stood between warring gangs shooting at each other, bullets whizzing by, risking his life.
“Back of the Yards, named due to its proximity to the old Union Stockyards (former hub of the U.S. meatpacking industry), is usually just another overlooked and stereotyped poor minority area of Chicago. But through Br. Jim, I can explore the community and its residents through his eyes. In an effort to neither whitewash nor sensationalize, I've taken care to attend to all those moments that, while difficult or simply mundane and easy to ignore, are also sublimely beautiful.”
All images © Megan E. Doherty
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