Passion and Purpose: Mary Rafferty — NEW DATE Thursday, Feb 25, 7 pm

Artist Speaker Series

When artists create work about things that they care about, they make better art. This series aims to explore all the ways that “passion projects” emerge, evolve, develop, are supported, funded and deployed.

Why do you make the work that you make, and how does it affect change? These are the key questions we pose to participants, who will share their stories in images, words and interactive sessions.

Personal Projects—Creating with a Purpose
Mary Rafferty

4/19/16 Robin Robinson/Mary Rafferty

Have you started a personal project only to be frustrated, no longer interested, or no idea where to take it next? You are not the only one. Photographer Mary Rafferty will share a bit about her journey, its ups and downs, and when you know to continue to push forward or to put the breaks on. Incorporating a personal project that speaks to you and what you’re passionate about is an essential ingredient to sustaining a vibrant and purposeful career as an artist. When you love what you do, it shows—in both you and your work.

Since 2016 Rafferty has created images for her on-going series – “Do you see me?” A portrait project where she photographs black women and asks the question, “What is it like to be a black woman in the United States today?”

Through the intimate process of both collecting and sharing these personal stories, her work captures moments that document women’s experience in contemporary, Social, and political time. Their handwritten responses are digitally overlaid on the portraits, furthering the project’s intimacy. As a white female photojournalist, Rafferty feels compelled to bring greater equity to the images of women in our culture and is inspired by the stories of the women she has met through this project. Together, they create the collaborative pieces that ask Do You See Me?

Mary works as a Chicago based commercial photographer. She began her career as a photojournalist and continues to draw from these roots as a storyteller with her current work and personal projects.

Mary predominately works as a portrait, editorial, corporate, and branding photographer both on location and at her near northside studio. The majority of her work is collaborating with entrepreneurs and companies to create fresh and modern imagery that tells their story. In addition to her commercial endeavors, she has on-going personal projects that she is passionate about and keeps her engaged with different people she meets on her journey.

You can find more of Mary’s work at

NEW DATE! Thursday, February 25, 2021
7:00 p.m.

Register in advance for this program:
Zoom with Mary Rafferty

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

C3’s Passion and Purpose YouTube playlist is at
Scott Van Osdol – Using Your Superhuman Creative Powers for Good

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