FOCAL POINT surveys the landscape of emerging photographers and selects three talented, driven, and noteworthy artists to highlight each quarter. Each FOCAL POINT photographer receives mentoring from Crusade for Art to think about their work, their target audience, and how to best engage them. In this interview series, every FOCAL POINT photographer gets asked the same three questions, and their answers become a jumping off point for the mentorship.
Describe the arc of your photography career so far.
I would say that my photography career found its beginning while working towards my MFA during graduate school at Indiana University. Prior to returning to school, I had concerned myself only with making beautiful photographs. In school, I realized the potential of communicating ideas through my images and working more conceptually, which now guides my process. After grad school, I began showing my work mostly through group and juried exhibitions which eventually led to more opportunities for solo exhibitions. One major pivotal experience was the year that I spent at the University of Georgia as a Post MFA Faculty Fellow. In this role, I taught classes, recognizing my passion for teaching photography, and I was also responsible for making and showing a new body of work. The environment of devoted and hardworking faculty, colleagues, and students helped form a model for me of how academics and creative research can collide with harmony. I have found continued community and support in organizations like the Society for Photographic Education (SPE). These relationships with fellow artists and educators are invigorating and inspiring. Finally, I would be remised not to mention the role that showing my work via blogs, news sites, and photography organizations on the internet which has dramatically increased my audience and recognition of my photographs. While not a traditional gallery space, experiences such as having images on the Huffington Post, have allowed for new opportunities to show work amongst people who may have otherwise not known it existed!
If you were exactly where you wanted to be in your fine art photography career, what would that look like?
My goals are always shifting on where I would like to be in my photography career. As I reach one ideal, the next presents itself! I would love to be represented by a gallery, and of course, continue showing work in varied types of spaces. Generally, I always want to be in the middle of a productive and successful current project or body of images!
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
In the next 12 months I will be beginning a new teaching position at the University of Arkansas that carries emphasis on research. I plan to begin a new project while seeking opportunities to show some of my other bodies of work. I have some ideas on the new work, but also hope to give myself a chance to respond to my new place via the work that I begin.