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Homely Part II

July 28 to September 1, 2018  

Housing Instability and Our Schools

Angela Peterson and Erin Richards

A photo essay of the road to graduation for two high school seniors who moved homes and switched schools frequently.  (In collaboration with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism)


Weeknight Dinners

Lois Bielefeld  


Photographer Lois Bielefeld’s most widely acclaimed project. Shown in conjunction with James Hagner’s collection of grocery  store shopping lists.


March, 20, 2013

One day in an Eviction moving company’s life

"I remember a nice white man who asked me during the open housing marches, 'What is it you people want?’ I said, 'My dear man, the same things you want. A place to live, green grass, a white picket  fence, a place to go to work and good schools for our children.' “.   - Vel  Philips, attorney and activist

Where do you live, how do you live, what are the conditions of your home environment, where do you dream of living? Ever since sociologist Matthew Desmond's book Evicted was published in 2016, the cultural awareness of how housing issues affect all aspects of society, from schools to public health, has come to the forefront.

Portrait Society Gallery is pleased to present this two part exhibition focusing on concepts of home.


Homely ( Part Two), July 28th to September 1st, presents a series of photographs by photojournalist Angela Peterson of the Journal Sentinel taken for writer Erin Richards' upcoming series of articles on student turnover in schools and academic performance. Peterson and Richards spent a full year following two Milwaukee families headed by single mothers who struggled to find housing and keep their children in the same schools. Peterson's photos provide an intimate portrait of these families as the eldest sons moved through their senior years towards graduation.

Angela Peterson has been a photo editor and photographer for the Journal Sentinel since 2003. Before coming to Milwaukee, she worked at the Orlando Sentinel as a photographer and photo editor with an emphasis on minority visual reporting. Currently, she's also working on the Journal Sentinel's 50-year Ache project, a series of stories, visual and multimedia pieces examining how far Milwaukee has come since the open housing marches in 1976.

Erin Richards has written about education for more than a decade at the Journal Sentinel. After reading Evicted, Erin sought to investigate the link between student turnover in schools and academic success in Wisconsin and specifically Milwaukee, a city where many families hop between different publicly funded school options. The Journal Sentinel series was done in a connection with Marquette University's O'brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism, a program in the Diederich College of Communication. The first installment of the series will be published in the fall.

A second component of Homely (Part Two) presents photographer Lois Bielefeld's photo series Weeknight Dinners, a project where she traveled around the country photographing people at their dinner tables. Bielefeld crossed geographical, economic, age and race divides as she looked at this shared nightly ritual enacted in innumerable configurations of what might constitute 'family'. Her work will be presented with grocery store checkout clerk James Hagner's collection of handwritten shopping lists collected over two years.

Lois Bielefeld received a BFA in Advertising Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2002. After graduating, she worked in the fashion industry in New York City for seven years, before returning to Milwaukee. A solo exhibition of her work, The Bedroom, was presented at Portrait Society Gallery in 2012, followed by Weeknight Dinners and Androgyny, in 2015, which featured a portfolio of images and a room-sized sound installation which was acquired by the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York. Her third major project was the 2016 exhibition, Neighborhoods. Her work has also been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, New York City; The Museum of Wisconsin Art, West Bend; The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; The Charles Allis Museum; the Racine Art Museum; and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Bielefeld is a current Mary L. Nohl fellowship winner in the Established Artist category and a recent body of work, "Celebrations", is currently on view at the Haggerty of Museum of Art, Marquette University.

The third section of the exhibition presents a day in the life of a moving company. March 20th, 2013 is an exhibition of cell phone photo documentation taken by a moving company and submitted to the sheriff's offie as a requirement of the legal eviction process

For additional information or photographs, please contact the gallery:


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