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"It's very difficult to know exactly how many new immigrants will cross the Chicago border on any given day," says photographer Gina Grillo. When she was given permission by the INS to wait at O'Hare for new immigrants to arrive, she sometimes sat as long as eight hours to capture their images on film. Grillo, an artist in residence at Columbia College whose grandparents all came to Chicago from Italy at the turn of the last century, became interested in the contemporary immigrant experience because, she says, "I was disturbed by comments from people who felt that it was somehow different now--that we were having too many immigrants coming in. I would wonder how people could forget so easily that we all came from somewhere and weren't just dropped here." She began photographing immigrant children in their homes, at citizenship ceremonies, and at public celebrations as part of an ongoing (six years so far) project studying "assimilation in its purest form." Twenty-five of those photos are currently on display at the Field Museum in a new exhibit called "Between Cultures: Children of Immigrants in America," which runs through May 6. The museum is at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, and admission is $8, $4 for children, students, and seniors. Call 312-922-9410 for hours and information.


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