The event was a word-of-mouth happening. The people, the music, and just the atmosphere became my spiritual inspiration. They called me "The Picture-Taking Lady." I covered the walls of the Garage with pictures of themselves. —Mikki Ferrill
While working as a freelance photojournalist, Chicago-based photographer Mikki Ferrill began documenting the Garage, an improvised music venue that popped up every Sunday in a car garage at 610 East 50th Street.
Ferrill photographed these events regularly for 10 years (1970–80), creating images that demonstrate a relaxed relationship between her and her subjects—members of a close-knit community who saw the Garage as a space for the uninhibited personal expression of black identity.
All photos by Valeria “Mikki” Ferrill from the series The Garage (1970/80): Untitled, 1970/80. Gift of Valeria "Mikki" Ferrill; Untitled, about 1970. National Docent Symposium Endowment; Untitled, 1970/80. Through prior gifts of Flora Stieglitz Straus and Emanuel and Edithann M. Gerard; Untitled, 1970/80. Gift of Valeria "Mikki" Ferrill; Untitled, 1970. David Travis Fund.