The Laboratory School of The University of Chicago

30 January 2024

Portraits in Faith went for a 2nd year to The Laboratory Schools of The University of Chicago.  Our curator, Gina Alicea, invited PIF to The Lab School last year for our first exhibition, “Seeing The Other” in the Corvus Gallery.  World Religion High School teacher, Holly Johnston, invited Daniel Epstein to share the PIF project with her students.  Their assignment was to reflect on three interviews—any combination of interviews from his website, interviews the students conduct using his questions, or self-reflect using his questions.  Daniel then returned 3 weeks later to hear the reflections of the students.  2024 was now the 2nd year The Lab School World Religion Classes have engaged in this experience.

Holly Johnston had this to say about the experience for her students:  “Our work with Daniel Epstein on the Portraits in Faith project gave our high school students a way to learn from a wide variety of faith journeys and the value of taking the narratives of others seriously. Daniel encouraged the kids to think about how each individual may have arrived at the point he captured BUT that it is only one snapshot in time. His message is that faith journeys are dynamic. The Portraits in Faith project allows the kids to connect on a very personal level with people they may not ever meet, agree with or have the same beliefs BUT it opens their eyes to "others" and the essay part asks them to find connections/themes/threads between a diverse group of humans. They must see the humanity in all of creation as Daniel says. I also appreciate when kids get to hear about Daniel’s life path from education, occupation, passions, travels and experiences.”