Photo show opens Friday
Colorado Mountain College’s renowned photo program is showing off its best student work this month with a wide-ranging exhibit at the Artshare Gallery in Glenwood Springs.
The show, which launches with an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. Friday, includes one 12-inch-by-18-inch print each from students in the school’s color management class.
“Photography has a tradition in the print itself. Even though we’ve moved into a traditional realm, there are still times when you need to produce the highest quality print,” professor Derek Johnston said. “The show really showcases the talent and diversity that exists in the program.”
Take Jess Parsons, a New Jersey native who hopes to transfer to Parsons School of Design after graduating with her two-year photo degree in May.
Her entry, a unique still life partially obscured by a curtain of cloth, says a lot about her aesthetic and creative interests.
Although she’s passionate about photography — she began taking pictures with her dad’s crime scene camera as a young teen — her primary interest remains textiles. She initially planned to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design, but changed her mind.
“Coming out of high school, just delving into a four year art school can be scary. It’s a huge investment,” she explained.
She discovered CMC through visiting her grandmother in New Castle. That’s also where she began to develop her unique style.
“I’m interested in how your personal space can paint a portrait of who you are,” she said.
She has since switched from a bulky digital SLR camera to a compact Fujifilm, a more intimate tool for grandma’s house or other personal space. Now, she has a chance to showcase her burgeoning talent.
“This is my first framed anything,” she said. “Everyone knows I’m into art, but I really don’t display my work. It’s pretty special. Having it up on a wall changes how someone can interact with it.”
While Parsons comes at photography from the artistic side, Austin Kimbrough is interested in the commercial applications. He found his niche in photography taking senior pictures after high school.
“Making people look good was something that really interested me,” he said.
Now, he’s taking advantage of a four year dual degree in business with emphasis on photography, and hopes to eventually get an internship with a fashion magazine.
“I get nothing but positive experiences from being here,” he said. “The teachers here are awesome, and it’s an interesting group of kids.”
His submission to the show captures an unidentified man in a black and white, geometric vision of Denver’s Union Station.
“I wanted to do something that represented my style but not necessarily my content,” he said. “I think there are a lot of fundamentals you have to knock out of the park to get a great photo. I really focus on graphics, symmetry and lines.”
Parsons considers the process just as important as the product.
“We’ve all put a lot of work into these. We assembled the frames, we cleaned the glass, we nitpicked the prints,” he said. “Whether people hate what I’ve got on the wall or love it it’s still a learning experience.”
The viewer also gets something out of the exchange.
“It’s great for locals to support the school, but I think there’s a lot of good art as well,” said Kit Mitchell, a landscape photographer who stalks the light for a mysterious and ethereal look. “It shows off how good this program is.”
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