by Walter Robinson
Chris Verene, "Galesburg: The New Chapters," Sept. 16-Oct. 22, 2005, at Marcia Wood Gallery, 263 Walker Street, Atlanta, Ga. 30313
Chris Verene was born in Galesburg, Ill., in 1969, and began taking pictures of his friends and neighbors as a teenager, as soon as he learned how to use a camera. Galesburg is a small railroad town with 34,000 people that looks to nearby Peoria -- the politicianís epitome of Podunk America -- as "the big city." The town is 84 percent white and economically depressed, with a median household income of about $32,000 a year.