Adam Gillespie's photos from Iraq are featured in a new exhibit at Heartland Community College (photo by Adam Gillespie)
NORMAL - Adam Gillespie's dream job is to be a war photographer and he already has a stockpile of war photos in his portfolio.
Gillespie, 31, served two tours in Iraq between 2006 to 2010 while serving in the Air Force. The Bloomington native who is studying photography at Heartland Community College has photos to document his active duty tours in Kirkuk and Samarra, Iraq that are featured in a new exhibit at the school.
"Adam Gillespie: Photographs from Iraq" is on display at the Joe McCauley Gallery through Dec. 7.
Gillespie said the photos don't chronicle the war. That wasn't his purpose. He said the images depict the people whose lives are impacted by the war.
"We weren't just there to fight. We were doing nation building, building schools with the people of Iraq. I kind of wanted to show that more than the violence," Gillespie said. "In the gallery photos, the men are what are most important to me. They are the men I served with and fought beside. They are the reasons I took the photos, so one day I could show them to my son and tell them the stories of these men," Gillespie said.
An Ohio native, Gillespie is from a military family and grew up on Navy bases throughout the country. He graduated from Bloomington High School in 1999 and spent 10 years in the military.
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.