Gregory Schaffer

In 2007, UW-trained photographer Gregory Schaffer returned to Seattle after two years in China working for the Peace Corps. Things looked a lot different than when he left; and then the economy collapsed. Where China had been booming, his adopted hometown suddenly went bust. The 21 images collected in After the Trees Have Grown document that bust, many of them shot during his foot and bicycle travels through industrial South Seattle, some while working for the Refugee Women’s Alliance. (A sidebar offers more hopeful portraits of the kids he mentors there.) A downed kite, unharvested fruit, abandoned paint cans in a brushy field, people living in a van—these are the pessimistic scenes Schaffer captures, so unlike his experiences abroad. “Taking pictures was hard, until I realized that King County was my ‘new China,’” says Schaffer. What was once familiar terrain became foreign to him. BRIAN MILLER

Thu., Oct. 7, 6-8 p.m.; Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Oct. 7. Continues through Oct. 29, 2010

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