Michelle Keim is a fine art photographer living and working in Chicago. She received her MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1997 and has taught at Columbia College and Wilbur Wright College in Chicago. Her industrial landscape photography, “Iron Beauties”, was represented by Catherine Edelman gallery for roughly 10 years and published as a monograph in 2006 by Nazraeli Press. Her landscape work is in the permanent collections of Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Federal Reserve Bank and many other corporate and private collections. She is currently engaged in a long term landscape photography project in which she is taking a close look at the brick-making industry in her rural Ohio hometown situated in the largest Amish community in the country. Representing a mid-life career change of sorts, in recent years Keim has become entrenched in the world of athletes, combat sports in particular. She got her start photographing team mates in Mixed Martial Arts, then transitioned to covering live events and is now the official photographer and social media director for the historic Chicago Golden Gloves. She has worked closely with UFC number 9 ranked strawweight fighter, Felice Herrig, for over 3 years covering training camps and personal aspects of her life as a successful professional athlete. Getting a late start in life as an athlete herself, Keim is currently undefeated in Muay Thai kickboxing holding a record of 1-0. She has 3 children, all of whom have attended CPS schools.
Portrait by Devina Yoestong
Michelle Keim & Nicholas Senn Highschool
This semester I’m following the girls wrestling team at Senn HS which is coached by Angela Kus. Senn is the first CPS HS to have enough girls wrestling to form a team. Lakeview HS now has enough girls to form a team as well and in January the two teams met for the first ever CPS wrestling meet between two female teams. Normally girls go along to boys meets and wrestle girls if any happen to be on an opposing team or wrestle teammates or just wrestle boys to get experience in competition.
At a recent state qualifier Coach Kus’ girls team (she coaches both boys and girls teams at Senn) out wrestled her boys with 9 out of 11 of her girls placing in the tournament.
Two of the girls on her team, Bernice and Mia, are best friends and chose to join the wrestling team at Senn as their “best friend activity”. At the state qualifier Bernice placed and Mia was upset that she did not. Bernice said she would share 5th place with Mia.