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Chuck Avery studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and graduated with honors in 1977 with an emphasis on the documentary mode of photography. His work since 2003 has concentrated on suburban expansion and sprawl, and the language and messaging found in historical sites and museums. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, from New York to San Francisco to Ping Yao, China. He was the recipient of a $25,000 McKnight Fellowship in Photography in 2010 and produced a book titled Roadside Anthropology from his travels. His work is included in the collections of the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Kansas.