Picture Perfect: CMC celebrates photography students with portfolio night event at Spring Valley campus | PostIndependent.com

Picture Perfect: CMC celebrates photography students with portfolio night event at Spring Valley campus

Colorado Mountain College Pro Photo student Cody Andrew works on printing a color profile in the lab at school.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

For Colorado Mountain College photography students, the final 16 weeks of class peaks with a one-of-a-kind portfolio night next week.

Joseph Gamble, Associate Professor of photography at Colorado Mountain College, said that this year’s Portfolio Night stands apart from past events in more ways than one.

“They’re allowed to explore their own creative objective and what that outcome looks like has been rich and varied. I would say there’s some real innovative stuff in this year’s group,” Gamble said.

The evening serves as a semester-long culmination and introduction of themselves and their work to community members, friends and family. Student Sarah Cherry, who specializes in food photography, said the event for her means showing her close ones what she’s been stressed about and working so hard on for the past semester.

One of Cody Andrew's photos printed on a metal plate.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“It is far more important to me to have this night in person than to actually have a graduation ceremony. … In my case, I was in this class last year and then when COVID hit I went ahead and dropped because it wasn’t worth it to me to put in all this work and not have a place to show it. So I’ve been working an extra year on all of this,” Cherry said.

The event will be from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday May 6 at the Summit Student Commons at the Spring Valley CMC campus. It is free to attend but tickets need to be booked ahead of time so one hour blocks of time can be reserved for the attendees. Cody Andrews, a student who will display work of black and white botanicals on plates, said everyone needs an excuse to get out now that COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, and the event is the perfect time to do so.

“This is probably the best (gallery) in the valley that’s free, in my opinion. Not only does it show support for the college this year, but it shows support for young artists that have worked really, really hard on these bodies of work. And they won’t be disappointed,” Andrews said.

Cherry’s work will be presented in the form of a cookbook accompanying recipes she wrote herself. Student Connor McDermott however, is similar to Andrews in that he’s presenting work in large print sizes that fit the fine arts category.

Colorado Mountain College Pro Photo student Cody Andrew works on printing a color profile in the lab at school.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

“Basically printing as big as I can while keeping quality. I’m also doing dye-sublimation but on much smaller prints in little highlights. … For me I think the focus for (my) series is just really big prints that you can kind of delve into as a viewer,” McDermott said.

The event for graduates of the photography program from last spring was cancelled and turned virtual due to COVID-19, so being able to find a way to put on this event for students safely and still bringing together an audience for their work is a huge feat, Gamble said.

“We found a way to make it work and hold this event to the same standard we always do with other portfolio nights. And honestly it’s the first time that we’ve done a big event in the student center. … So they’re just as excited to showcase that facility in addition to showcasing the great student work. It’s a great sort of end of the year celebration I think for all involved,” Gamble said.

Colorado Mountain College Pro Photo student Cody Andrew and prototype lab technician Zeke Hall look at a photo printed on a metal plate for Andrew's portfolio.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Andrews said to him, portfolio night is more important than the tradition of graduation and that hopefully the event will be the first of more gallery showings to come for his work.

“All of my work i’m doing right now is fine art photography. My end goal would be to just continue making that work well, going along with the other normal jobs I’ve been doing, and trying to get stuff into galleries,” Andrews said.

If you go…

– Where: Summit Student Commons at Spring Valley Campus

– When: Book a one hour time slot from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 6

– Tickets: Call 970-947-8177 or email svticketsales@coloradomtn.edu

– Masks will be required for entry


Reporter Jessica Peterson can be reached at 970-279-3462 or jpeterson@postindependent.com.

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