Gage Gallery | The best thing I did this week

Photo from "Grace Before Dying"

Photo from "Grace Before Dying" Photograph: Lori Waselchuk

My favorite Around Town diversions last week: I stopped in Alderman Exhibitions' new space, popped into cute Bucktown pub Lottie's for Irish trivia, and spent St. Patrick's Day in Chicago's German 'hood, eating brautwurst at Brauhaus and viewing DANK Haus's history exhibition. (Feeling totally over St. Pat's, as I celebrated at the previous weekend's fetes.)

Out of all my adventures last week, I was most impressed with a visit to the new Gage Gallery exhibit, "Grace Before Dying." Curator Michael Ensdorf, who manages to transform Roosevelt University's bland white cube into a professional venue for consistently interesting documentary photography shows, also has an uncanny ability to mount exhibits that are timely: His stellar mini-retrospective of photographs by Milton Rogovin opened, and the artist passed a few days later. Photographs by Taryn Simon ran concurrently with a popular exhibition of her new work at Tate Modern, London.

The newest exhibit features Lori Waselchuk's 2007 images of an inmate-run hospice program in Louisiana. It opened a few weeks after the front page of New York Times' Sunday edition chronicled a similar inmate-run program for prisoners with dementia. As I wrote in my review, I think the timely context greatly influenced my critique. But you can judge for yourself: The Gage Gallery is open Mon–Fri 9am–6pm, Sat 10am–4pm. "Grace Before Dying" runs through April 28.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)