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Art show features student photography for first time

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by Crystal Apilado
Features Editor

Student art is being featured now in the “Black and White Silver Halide” photography exhibit at the University of La Verne Irene Carlson Gallery through Friday, Sept. 21.

Work from Jason Cooper, senior, Kati Kelly, junior, and Isela Peña, ULV 2000 alumna, are featured in the exhibit. Cooper, Kelly and Peña were enrolled in a special project photography class in the spring 2001 semester, which was an upper division class.

Peña’s works are close up photos of family members. According to Peña, she wanted to bring out the intimate appeal in her photos and bring out the human features.

“I wanted people to see what I see,” said Peña.

She chose to take close-up pictures in order to make viewers think of their own family members.

Some of the photos are so close-up that they become abstract. Some pictures feature close ups of hands, backs and faces. Peña said that some viewers have said that her pictures made some of them think of their own family members.

Peña’s favorite photo is a close up of her grandfather posed with his hands in a prayer position. The photo is mainly on his hands, and the detail is very significant.

“It sums him up. He’s always looking after us,” said Peña.

Peña used a strobe light and a studio box light for special effects in her photographs. Her photos are developed from 4″x5″ camera negatives exposed under a studio light. Peña’s work is located on the south end of the gallery on both walls.

Pena’s works on display were part of her senior project, which was originally displayed last semester.

Work displayed form Cooper and Kelly are from individual projects of the special projects photography class.

Work from the Elementary Photography 210 class is also being featured on the east side of the gallery. The photographs were part of four different class assignments: friends, street, studio portrait and abstraction.

According to Gary Colby, professor of photography, this is the first time that student work has ever been displayed in the Carlson Gallery. The gallery usually displays the works of invited photographers in the art and documentary photography fields.

Alexis Lahr, junior, was one of the students whose work was displayed in the Carlson gallery. Lahr’s work is from the abstraction assignment and is a close up of a palm tree trunk developed in black and white.

“I was trying to find a very abstract subject that was abnormally shaped and indistinguishable,” said Lahr. “Maybe viewers can tell that it’s the trunk of a palm tree, but that is not necessarily their first reaction.”

“It’s a good exhibition,” said Colby. “A good and diligent effort on their part.”

Pictures by the elementary photography students were taken with a 35mm camera. Colby said in the class students are encouraged to learn the difference between “taking a picture” and “making a photograph.”

Lahr and Peña both agreed that the exhibit was a great opportunity to showcase student work.

“We have some great photographers here and it’s nice to see what they can do,” said Lahr.

A reception for the exhibition is in the process of being planned. Information regarding the reception will be announced.

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