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June Pride Month celebrated with photo exhibit in Gage Gallery

Chicago, IL, May 19, 2010 /PN/ Capturing an historic time in the nation’s history, a unique new photo exhibit of gay life in San Francisco during the 1970s opens Thursday, June 3 in Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery, 18 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

Jerry Pritikin, Diana Topan, Harvey Milk, photography exhibition,  pride month, photography news, gay news, lgbt news, lgbt-news.com,  photography-news.com
Jerry Pritikin with Harvey Milk 1978 PHOTO CREDIT: DANNY NICOLETTA

Photographed by Chicago publicist, gay rights activist and a Chicago Cubs fan known as the “Bleacher Preacher,” Jerry Pritikin, the exhibit entitled “San Francisco in the 1970s” features photos of gay life in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, which was an epicenter for the gay rights movement prior to the AIDS epidemic of the Eighties.

Jerry Pritikin, Diana Topan, Harvey Milk, photography exhibition,  pride month, photography news, gay news, lgbt news, lgbt-news.com,  photography-news.com
BIGOTS ON PARADE / 1977 San Francisco Gay Day Parade © J Pritikin

Pritikin, who moved from Chicago during the early 1960s to be part of San Francisco’s growing gay community, documented the rising movement with candid shots of: life in the Castro neighborhood, which is a tourist attraction for many today; San Francisco’s early gay pride parade; and the late Harvey Milk leading a protest in Castro before Milk, who was assassinated in 1978, became the first openly gay man in America to be elected to public office in California.

Jerry Pritikin, Diana Topan, Harvey Milk, photography exhibition,  pride month, photography news, gay news, lgbt news, lgbt-news.com,  photography-news.com
Harvey Milk Orange Tuesday San Francisco ,Ca. 6/7/77 © J Pritikin

“When I took these photos, I never thought they would become a marker in history,” said Pritikin, 73, who has seen enormous progress made on behalf of gay rights during his lifetime. “These are photos of people who were changing the status quo. They were paving the way for a
better life for members of the gay community, which is something that I think many people take for granted today,” said Pritikin.

Pritikin, who also witnessed the death of many in that community because of AIDS, moved back to Chicago during the mid 1980s and became widely known as the “Bleacher Preacher” because of his solar-powered pith helmet with its solid gold propeller, life-size voodoo doll and
signs he displayed as a regular Cubs fan in the bleachers section of Wrigley Field.

Jerry Pritikin, Diana Topan, Harvey Milk, photography exhibition,  pride month, photography news, gay news, lgbt news, lgbt-news.com,  photography-news.com
IN 1976 VD WAS ONE OF THE FEW THINGS GAY PEOPLE HAD TO WORRY ABOUT (and crabs!)
and just a few years later AIDS. © J Pritikin


An artist’s reception for the one-of-a-kind exhibit will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 3. Sponsored by the Roosevelt University Office of the President and the College of Arts and Science, the exhibit will run through Aug. 13. For information, visit www.roosevelt.edu/gagegallery

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Opened in 2000, Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery is a leading, not-for-profit photography exhibit space located in the heart of downtown Chicago and across the street from Millennium Park. The gallery hosts a number of free, educational exhibits annually, and two of its exhibits – Nina Berman’s Homeland: Images of Post-9-11 America and Violent Realities, featuring the work of photographers Jon Lowenstein and Carlos Javier Ortiz - were rated by New City magazine in the top five at university galleries in Chicago in 2009.


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