New Partnership Helps Student Photographers Elevate Work

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Photo students entered pictures into the Photo Show downtown Greenville. April 05, 2019. (BJU Marketing/Carter Henderson).

For BJU junior graphic design major Brandon Buchanan, the prospect of having his photographic work displayed in public for the first time was understandably challenging.

Overall, though, “I think it’s really exciting,” he said.

Buchanan, of Cortland, New York, is among four BJU students whose works are featured through April 27 in the juried Upstate College Exhibition at the Southeast Center for Photography in Greenville. A new collaboration between the University and the Center led to participation in the Upstate College Exhibition and other interactive experiences for students at the gallery.

Zane Logan, instructor of photography at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, selected 40 images for inclusion in the exhibition from more than 500 submitted by about 100 student photographers from Upstate colleges and universities.

Winning entries were also submitted by BJU sophomore business administration major Isaac Talbert of Travelers Rest, South Carolina; freshman cinema major Marshall Hammer of Morristown, Tennessee; and graduate biblical counseling major Thian Thang of Greenville.

Part of a Series

Buchanan, who’s enrolled in advanced photographic lighting this semester, has three photographs on display.

“Two were part of a series I did for the art of photography [class] last semester, which was on the loss of childhood innocence and looking at different facets of things they struggle with,” he said. “It was me marveling at the innocence of youth compared to the harshness of reality and adulthood.

“One is body image—a picture of a Barbie [doll] looking in a mirror and reflecting on how she needs to do just one more thing to perfect her body but, to her, it’s just out of reach of perfection. The second is looking at how communication is broken.”

Founded by Michael Pannier, the Southeast Center for Photography is an exhibition and education venue promoting the art form and photographers of multiple skill levels and experience. Classes and workshops are also offered through the center that cover a variety of photography topics.

“It will be exciting to see how [students] will grow in their abilities through this new partnership,” Pannier said.

Interactive Experiences

Last semester, the six student photographers made five trips to the Southeast Center for Photography to experience the mechanisms of a gallery and learn first-hand what is involved with professional fine art photography, including receiving feedback from Pannier on their semester-long projects.

“Southeast Center for Photography provides invaluable real-world experience that will illustrate the in-class theory students are taught in our department,” said Rebekah Mininger, assistant professor in the Division of Art and Design. “All of our students are talented and dedicated to elevating their photography beyond technical craft to the level of fine art.

“As faculty, we are very proud of their activity in the local art community and value this professional accomplishment as a sign of their present and future success in the field of fine art photography.”

See Also: BJU Photographer Wins National Awards