Review: Faculty photo exhibit lacked needed focus

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LOOK TO THE SKY— Photography professor Matt Micajah Truitt’s exquisite piece “Kite Worship.”
Photo by David McVicker/Staff

Photography faculty took a shot at an exhibition of their own in the Southwestern College Art Gallery that showed much creativity, but was something less than picture perfect.
“Faculty Photography” lacked focus, and tried too hard to be edgy and hip. There were, however, some great shots.
Some pieces drew onlookers immediately, like two floor-to-ceiling pixelated images. Others were more challenging, such as four cream color drapes with a letter at the far right corner of each one.
There were sublime creations among the chaos. Assistant Professor of Photography John Pickell captured an image of a woman’s complete body and distorted the photo into three-inch pixels to display a silhouette. Marv Slobben also scored with three black and white photographs. One was a woman standing underneath a light pole playing her guitar with a face that spoke of serenity and loneliness. Another photo displayed Jimmy, an older man in what seemed to be a begging or praying position. His lips were in a thin line and he had a stare that went through viewers’ souls. The third photo seemed to be an old rock star tired of his lifestyle and ready for retirement.
Professor of Photography Micajah Truitt captured a baby crawling on the sidewalk curiously approaching a dead rat. A second photograph presented a pair of manly hands trying to help what seemed to be a child trapped between rocks.
Apart from the three educators art there was not really anything exceptional. Too many looked like advertising.
Robert Heinecken, a legendary UCLA professor and photographer, once said, “There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.” He was right. A photograph should communicate a message and a feeling. “Faculty Photography” may have had a message, but students weren’t feeling it.

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