Blanchard gallery exhibits student photography

 Photo by Tammy Vesvarute ’21  Kalea Martin ’19 exhibits “The Diner” at “Frame the Invisible,” Blanchard Student Art Gallery’s latest exhibit.

Photo by Tammy Vesvarute ’21

Kalea Martin ’19 exhibits “The Diner” at “Frame the Invisible,” Blanchard Student Art Gallery’s latest exhibit.

BY OLIVIA MARBLE ’21

Themes spanning from personal identity to family structures were explored  in the Blanchard Student Art Gallery during its latest exhibit, “Frame the Invisible.” The exhibit, which ran from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, featured the final projects of the students in Digital Photography 1, an introductory photography course taught by Professor Amanda Herman that focused on photography basics through digital technologies. 

For the course’s final project, Herman challenged the students to think of something that was important to them and capture it using digital cameras. According to Herman, many of the students had never used a digital SLR or advanced compact camera and had to learn how to adjust the manual functions. 

As part of the project, Herman also had the students to set up the exhibit themselves. Students designed the exhibit poster, promoted the opening of the exhibit, designed the layout and organized the event. 

“I think the fact that they get to do all those different pieces gives them a sense of ownership over it, and I was really happy to see them feeling proud of all they had accomplished,” Herman said. 

One of Herman’s students, Emily Lynch ’18, explored what it means to be a person of color in her series “The POC Project.” She took pictures of biracial students at Mount Holyoke while they talked to her about what it meant to them to be a person of color. She also asked them to write about their experience on a notecard, which she featured below the photograph. 

“I’ve always had these problems with my identity,” Lynch said. “In that I don’t fit in a group, like a white group or a POC group, so I wanted to see if other biracial people were on the same boat as I was. What I found was that many people had the same feelings I did.” The project also included a photograph of Lynch herself wearing her grandmother’s kimono.

Lucy Rabinowitz ’20 explored the theme of fatherhood in her project titled “Who is he.” She was interested in the contrast between typical ideas of fatherhood, which are closely associated with masculinity, and how fathers actually raise their children. 

“I thought it was really interesting to see the contrast between how masculine these guys seemed and the fact that they were coddling these little babies, which is traditionally not a masculine thing to do,” Rabinowitz said. She captured fathers in tender moments of parenting, and through this process, challenged her own assumptions of what it means to be a father.

Junior Kalea Martin’s project, “The Diner,” featured photographs of four diners in the area, including Blue Bonnet Diner in Northampton, Johnny’s Roadside Diner in Amherst, Al’s Diner in Chicopee and Fifties Diner in Chicopee.  She took her photographs in black and white, except those that featured blue and red neon lights. “When [the audience looks] at my pictures, I wanted people to be unsure when they were taken,” Martin said.

Herman was pleased with the students and the exhibit. 

“I was impressed with all the students and their courageousness to try new things and continually push themselves with [what was] a new medium for most of them,” Herman said.

Mount Holyoke News

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