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WSIU TV producer Jak Tichenor talks with photographer Daniel Overturf, an associate professor in and former chair of SIUC's Cinema and Photography department, and Gary Marx, a former reporter for the Southern Illinoisan and Chicago Tribune, about their book A River Through Illinois, which documents contemporary life along the Illinois River. Marx currently works for the Kansas City Star. Overturf also has worked as a photographer and teacher in New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, and Alberta, Canada.
Overturf explains that the idea for the book project began in 1998 during visits with friends who live along the Illinois River, near his hometown of Peoria. As he took photographs of the stark beauty of the landscape, he began to hear stories as amazing as the images he was capturing on film. Realizing he had a story of his own to tell, Overturf recruited the assistance of award-winning journalist Gary Marx to document the people, places, landscapes, and activities of the river. Eventually, the two men began to speak with biologists, residents, workers, and others whose lives have been shaped by the Illinois. Together, they have produced a captivating study of life along the river.
Overturf and Marx have hosted exhibitions of their work around the state leading up to the publication of the book, which was released in April 2008 by Southern Illinois University Press.
An exhibit was recently installed at Chicago O'Hare Internaltional Airport. The exhibit draws on his work from the recent book of the same name. The exhibition features forty new digital inkjet prints mounted specifically for this site, and accompanied by new text. The exhibit will feature some images never shown before from the recently-released book.
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