Smile Politely

Travels at Giertz

The exhibit Travels: Works by Chung Chak and Travis Linville is currently on display at Giertz Gallery. Both artists have traversed the globe to create their respective bodies of work. The show runs through August 4th.      


Chung Chak    

“I view my imagery as timeless visual poetry with psychological impact, where viewers can no longer remain passive. Conceptualizing and resolving a solution is as rewarding as the seeing the result.”   


Chung Chak is an Associate Professor at The College of New Jersey.  The pieces he has on display at Giertz show how the destruction of many individual shots can be used to construct new creations – ones he refers to as psychological spaces he sometimes occupies.  “I enjoy the process of photomontage because I can randomly connect unrelated persons, events, and environments,” says Chak. “Although my subjects may never have the chance to meet in reality, they are permanently bound within my artwork.”


Chak’s work is definitely interesting. The pieces on display are all similar in their construct, thus establishing a signature of sorts, but each also stands alone. There’s a unique balance blended with a controlled chaos that makes these pieces come to life. The color palettes utilized work to keep the gallery patron engaged and while there appears to be a lot going on in the photographs, Chak has the ability to keep the viewer focused.

Travis Linville

“Though this collection of photographs is less characteristic of my typical work, it gave me the opportunity to practice photography in a different style.”

Travis Linville is a faculty member at Elgin Community College. His showing consists of photographs from his series “Shadows of Spain”. For this series, Linville captured his images using the same DSLR camera that he has his students work with. “As an educator, I am also a perpetual student and regularly seek ways to work outside my comfort zone,” said Linville. “In this way, I expand my knowledge of my chosen field both technically and creatively and can bring those experiences back to the classroom.”


Linville’s straight photography approach suits these pieces well. From a distance, the textures he captures can make the photographs appear as though they are paintings. There is a sense of peace felt across his work. Across his memories.

Giertz Gallery is located within Parkland College; it is recommended to park in Lot M6 and go in door X-7. Summer hours are from Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and the current exhibition runs through August 4th. More details can be found at the college’s website, or by calling 217-351-2485.

About the author…

Scott Wells is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of Illinois. He has been a photographer and writer for Smile Politely since March of 2015.

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