Total Hours: 9
Perpich, Rebecca Bullen, 5 Hours
Today, we started the darkroom class with the follow-up to my assignment, which was to read John Szarkowski’s essay, Introduction to William Eggleston’s Guide, and to take one photo with their cell phone that was either inspired by Eggleston’s work, or the Szarkowski reading.
I was so genuinely happy to see that the class enjoyed the reading. When I started our informal discussion on the reading, they all brought up extremely interesting points and asked very good questions. It was such a treat to talk to them about this reading, and to have everyone be so engaged and interested meant a lot to me.
We talked about how Eggleston’s work was very avant-garde for the time, and how his use of color was, in the 1970’s context, very unusual and extremely contemporary. I got to answer some wonderful questions about his process and John Szarkowski’s ideas of photography.
Then came the second part of the assignment—I gathered all the images they sent to me and then projected them. I was happy to see that most of the class took a photo for the assignment. When I asked them how their photographs related to Eggleston’s work, they all had really thoughtful answers. They all studied his work quite well, and we were able to reference specific photos of his just on memory. It was absolutely fantastic.
The students had a chance to talk about their photos, and other’s photos while they were up. I also added my two cents about how their work related to Eggleston’s—I was able to talk about a lot of Szarkowski’s theories as well as photographic composition in general.
I was so impressed with the students—they’re really a great group. I am glad that they had fun with the assignment and I hope it made an impact on the way they see photography.
Even though I was only teaching my lesson to the morning class, Rebecca asked me to show my work to her afternoon class. I was able to talk to a variety of painters and photographers about the work and it was a lot of fun.
MCTC, Paul Sinkler, 4 Hours
Today was the day that I presented my work and gave Paul’s class my assignment. Just like at Perpich, I would be showing my work throughout my MCAD career and how it’s changed over the years.
Paul gave me a nice introduction and I got started with the presentation. I talked about how huge of an influence Eggleston was for me, and how it motivated my work. I talked about other photographers of that time, like Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld, and more. I showed them how my view of photography at this time was very rooted in the way that these 1970s documentary photographs made images.
In the lecture, I showed a number of series that I had done over my MCAD career, and how I changed as an artist over time. I also talked about my experience in the New York Studio Residency Program, and how artists like Letha Wilson, Leslie Hewitt, and Lucas Blalock changed my work. I explained how these influences made my work gradually more sculptural.
I ended the presentation on my two most recent bodies of work—one being a very straight photography project, and the other being sort of photo-painting.
All of the students had really interesting things to say about my presentation and I really enjoyed talking to them about my work. They also had a lot of questions about MCAD, and the art world aspect of photography in general. We talked about artists’ careers, with things like selling work and getting into galleries.
Paul was also able to chime in on his experience with both worlds of photography—the fine art and commercial side. Since he himself was an MCAD graduate, he had some very insightful things to say about both camps.
Then, I gave them their assignment, which was to read an essay and take one photograph before next week. I printed booklets for everybody of one of my favorite photography essays, Introduction to William Eggleston’s Guide by John Szarkowski. This was a very formative essay for me, and I was especially interested in providing a bit of knowledge from my art education into their commercial/technical photograph class. For next week, they are to read the essay and take one photograph with their cell phone that is either inspired by Eggleston’s photographs, or by Szarkowski’s writing.
I had a really nice time showing the class my work, and I loved talking to them about fine art photography. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the students send me over the week!