Documenting a Summer of Black Joy

Rose Blouin

Foreword by Adrienne Brown and Eve L. Ewing

Haymarket Books (June 9, 2024)

Trade paper • ISBN-13: 9798888900987 • US $19.95 • 5 in x 8 in • 140 pgs.


A book of stunning black and white photographs, capturing the events, people, and landscape of Chicago’s Washington Park during the summer of 1987. 

Located in Chicago’s South side and designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Washington Park takes its name from the first president of the United States. But in 1987, for at least one joyous summer, the community claimed it as their own—even renamed it Harold Washington Park—as depicted in this vibrant collection of work by Chicagoan and photographer, Rose Blouin. The resulting images represent a profile of Chicago’s Black community in a place where they come together for recreation, festivals, sports, community events, parades, weddings, and other arts and cultural events.

These photographs brim with the delights of summer: a verdant natural world, food, fun, music, family gatherings, and a community inhabiting the vast expanse of the Chicago park.They embody the diversity, strength, and humanity of the people for whom Washington Park is a summertime gathering place. To Washington Park, With Love includes forewords by Eve L. Ewing and Adrienne Maree Brown, contextualizing and celebrating the 140 black and white photographs from Blouin’s indispensable body of work.


Rose Blouin is a self-taught photographer who has created documentary and fine art photography since 1980. Her work has been exhibited in a number of museums and galleries including Woman Made Gallery, ARC Gallery, Nicole Gallery, The South Side Community Art Center, Artemesia Gallery, The North Suburban Fine Arts Center, Evanston Arts Center, the State of Illinois Art Gallery, Bridgeport Art Center and the Chicago Cultural Center. Her work has received awards in juried exhibitions including Tall Grass Arts “From Earth” exhibition, Black Creativity (Museum of Science and Industry), University of Chicago Logan Center for the Arts “Chicago Jazz: A Photographer’s View,” DuSable Museum Annual Art Fair, and the Milwaukee Inner City Art Fair. Blouin has had solo exhibitions at the South Side Community Art Center and at the Ferguson Gallery of Concordia University featuring photographs from South Africa, and The New Studio in Evanston featuring photographs of Havana. Her most recent solo exhibition, “To Washington Park, With Love: Photographs from the Summer of 1987, was mounted at Arts + Public Life Arts Incubator Galleries in 2021. Blouin is a founding member of Sapphire & Crystals, a collective of African-American women artists active since 1987. Her book, A Week In Havana, was published May, 2023, with the assistance of an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. 


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For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.