CARBONDALE — Photographer Richard Sitler will be bringing his experience with the Peace Corps in Jamaica and around the world to The Varsity by way of his stunning and personal photographs.
Many of the photos are from a project Sitler undertook, in which he photographed Peace Corps volunteers around the world. He traveled to 22 countries on five continents to document the lives of Peace Corps volunteers. The photos were taken in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
Sitler, who is a photojournalist on staff at The Southern Illinoisan, grew up in Knightstown, Indiana, and has worked at newspapers in Ohio, Indiana, New Hampshire and New Jersey. He is a graduate of Blackburn College in Carlinville, and he also studied at The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.
From 2000 to 2002, Sitler took a break from his photojournalism career to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica. He was placed in the rural community of Lluidas Vale, where he served as an at-risk youth adviser to the Lluidas Vale All Age School.
In 2006, Sitler returned to Jamaica as a Crisis Corps volunteer, now called Peace Corps Response, where he served as a curriculum developer for a community youth training center in Ewarton, St. Catherine. Sitler also served in Jamaica as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in 2012 as a Video Documentation Specialist for Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition. In that position he documented the work of CVC as they served the most vulnerable population in the Caribbean that includes people with HIV/AIDS, homeless people and the LGBT population.
The exhibit opens Sunday, Jan. 14, with a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. The Varsity Bar will be open, offering for sale beer, wine, coffees with cream liqueurs, Excel sodas and snacks.
Sitler’s exhibit runs through Friday, Feb. 2. Regular Varsity hours are 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Varsity is downtown Carbondale at 418 S. Illinois Ave. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/varsitycenter.