At the end of every semester, the Art Studio hosts a week-long gallery show. It’s a wonderful chance for us to display our art, and it’s also a great way to preview the art course offerings – many students don’t realize these classes are available at such a technical school.
My work in this show marks the completion of my Photography minor. I completed two independent studies: one in Black & White film, one in Color Digital. Pure contrasts.
I had difficulty choosing subject matter for my black & white study (i posted about it back in January) but finally decided on hands/body language/gestures. My intent was to capture the many things we can tell about a person without seeing his or her face.
After a few rolls of film filled with failed attempts, my study took a better turn. I took my camera to a familiar place, a place filled with interesting and hardworking hands: the machine shop where I work as a Teaching Assistant.
I captured my students and my teaching assistant buddies, all working hard and all speaking volumes with just their hands. I can feel how awesome Ryan feels when he sits on that table for a quick break, and I can tell Valoryn’s hand belongs to a girl by the way she holds the handle on the mill. And Jim’s hands, practiced and worn, celebrate 20 years of teaching.
I’m happy I used this study to capture something so precious to me. I’ve loved the 1.5 years I spent in that shop, and now I’ve captured it forever.
My color study focuses on textures, patterns, and, well, color. The first half of the semester was posted in full here, and I will post the rest soon. The digital prints come together so much faster – we don’t get the bonding time in the darkroom like I do with the film prints – so I don’t feel as attached to these. But it felt wonderful to see them all together on the wall.
There’s something to be said about hanging art. All semester, I’ve referred to these as “studies”, but they don’t become cohesive studies until they are up on that wall, coordinating and opposing one another, drawing parallels and contrasts, and saying, “I am art. That’s why I’m on this wall.” It feels good to finally have them all displayed.
I apologize for the awkward lighting in the photos; I intend to make scans of the black & whites and post them in full. But I love having documentation of them on that wall.