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Neighborhood on display: A photo exhibition by Chris Norris

Seeing home with fresh eyes

Chris Norris is a neighbor and photographer who has been turning his interest in architecture and documentary film into a photo-investigation over the past few years. An exhibition of his images, a collection called "The Final Day," opens at Madison Central Library’s third floor gallery space this Friday during Gallery Night.  

As he says himself, these photographs are "a hyper-local, intimate look at the residential, industrial, and greenspace areas of the Madison Isthmus."

Chris moved to the neighborhood not too long after I started this blog. Like many of us, he has been fascinated by the rapid changes taking place since the area was named the Capitol Gateway Corridor to attract and guide development. Shot over the past few years, starting in 2014, he comments, "It's amazing how many of these photographs are already historical just a few years later."

What I love about these images is the way they present my home turf, my regular sights and scenes, as a city stripped down to elements. 

I realize that what makes this place, my neighborhood, feel like home is in large part the people. In these gorgeous compositions, I see the cityscape I inhabit as I might see a city I was visiting, a city of strangers to explore as an outsider.

I love exploring. I wander somewhat religiously, letting my eyes and feet lead. I see in these photos that Chris is also an explorer.

There is a playful and provocative little book by Keri Smith, called The Wander Society, that incites us to join thinkers, artists and poets who, throughout history and in cultures all over the earth have found wisdom through wandering. 'Solvitur ambulando' is the mission and the calling. It is revolutionary, and revelatory, to slow down, follow whims, and notice the canvas of our lives like this.

 Learn more about Chris's work at

'The Final Day' Opening Party
Friday, October 6th from 5-9PM
Madison Central Library, 3rd floor

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