Conversations 2017: April 28–30

Boundless, by Adam Normandin
Artist Adam Normandin will present his large-format oil and acrylic paintings at Conversations 2017. Boundless—2015, 48 x 144 in., oil and acrylic on canvas—features New York Central 4-8-2 no. 2931, a class L-2d “Mohawk” steam locomotive. See more of Adam’s work on his website.

Saturday and Sunday

Friday is sold-out as of March 9, but limited spots are still available for Saturday and Sunday. Join us for two engaging days of presentations, socializing, and conversations.

Registrations are now open. Use the Paypal links above or download the registration form, fill it out, and send it in with a check. The last three conferences sold out, so be sure to register early to reserve your spot. As in recent years, we will begin with a reception and dinner on Friday evening. Saturday will feature a full day of presentations, lunch, and a reception with drinks and appetizers. Sunday will conclude the weekend with additional presentations. Hope to see you there!
* Non-member prices include a one-year membership with the Center.

Location: The campus of cosponsor Lake Forest College (campus map), 30 miles north of Chicago. Learn more about the City of Lake Forest online or download the PDF overview.

Your Photographs: After purchasing your tickets, please send one of your recent photographs, preferably from the past year, for inclusion in a presentation of attendees’ photographs at the conference. Send one JPEG image file, either 1920 pixels wide or 1200 pixels high, to info [at]

Patrons: If you feel strongly about the conference, consider becoming a patron (use the Paypal link above). Patrons help offset travel costs for presenters, and the 20 patrons of Conversations 2016 also provided funds for scholarships in 2017. Patrons are recognized in the program and receive free tickets for all print raffles.

Scholarships: At least two scholarships, funded by conference patrons, are available to cover ticket prices, two nights of lodging (double occupancy), partial travel expenses to and from the conference. Young and/or emerging photographers and other visual artists are encouraged to apply. The deadline is February 20; applicants will be notified of their status by February 24.

Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary needs, and we will make every effort to accommodate them.

Hotel rooms are again available at:

Use these links or mention the Center when you call to receive our special rate, which will be available until the block of rooms has been filled or April 7.

The Paul Wertico “Off the Rails Trio” headlines Friday night with railroad-inspired jazz.

Dates and Times

  • Friday, April 28, 5:30 to 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 29, 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 30, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Friday music:

  • Paul Wertico’s Off the Rails Trio, featuring David Cain and John Moulder. Wertico is a seven-time grammy-winning drummer.

Presenters include:

  • Drayton Blackgrove
  • Katherine Botkin
  • Jean Bubley
  • Alexander Benjamin Craghead
  • Dan Cupper
  • Nick Fry
  • Eric Hirsimaki
  • Kevin P. Keefe
  • John P. Kelly
  • Alan Miller
  • Adam Normandin
  • James J. Reisdorff
  • Dave Styffe

Please note that this is an advance lineup and subject to change. We will post updates and more information here as it becomes available.

Alan Miller
Antofagasta & Bolivia Railway (FCAB) diesel locomotive no. 1411 heads a suphuric acid train through the Atacama Desert heading for the port at Mejillones, Chile, on April 25, 2016. Photograph by presenter Alan Miller