My Senior Exhibition

This collection represents just a glimpse of the extensive body of work I created for my senior exhibition. It comprises a mix of photographs, some of which made the final cut for the exhibition, and others that, while not selected, still hold significance in my creative journey. These images were captured over a period of three years, showcasing the evolution of my skills and artistic vision.

Artist Statement

This body of work was inspired by the book "The Model Wife" published in 1999 by Arthur Ollman. The book showed a collection of works of nine well-known photographers and their partners, including prominent photographers like Edward Weston and Lee Friedlander. It was Edward Weston, who was my inspiration at the beginning of my creative journey, as I first started with capturing my significant other's essence through abstract human forms. But after viewing the book it showed striking intimate and affectionate photographs that deeply resonated with me.

It was the noticeable sense of admiration that prompted me to recognize an underlying message of devotion and tenderness in my own photographs, previously perceived merely as aesthetically pleasing moments. A new path for my creative journey became clear: to evoke a connection in the audience through images that reflect the quiet moments of my life and relationship. Though the inspiration for the exhibition stems from fine art portraiture, Life Through The Lens incorporates self-portraits along with still-lives in addition to redefining the classic gender roles of the artist's muse, adding another layer to the narrative of my developing relationship. 

The main objective is shown through the chronicled growth of shared moments, emphasizing the nature of affection and the importance of viewing life big and small. Nathan, a continuous supporter and muse, has played a pivotal role in this artistic journey, offering unwavering encouragement and serving as a willing subject for my creative endeavors. These photographs showcase a visual timeline of our shared experiences, displaying the progression of my skills, our love, and the family we've built together. With each image, I invite the viewer to witness the tender evolution of our relationship, leaving them with hearts softened by the gentle power of love and connection.

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The Process of Creating: Life Through The Lens

The process of preparing for my senior exhibition, "Life Through The Lens," was extensive and multifaceted. Beyond capturing and creating images through the lens, I was deeply involved in marketing, social media management, graphic design, printing, and creating items to be cherished by attendees. This exhibition allowed me to put all of the skills I learned to the test.

Although I began conceptualizing my exhibition during my sophomore year at the University of Akron, the real work commenced as the event drew closer. My first step was to design my website, logo, and business cards, establishing a professional identity for the exhibition. I completed these tasks at the beginning of my junior year. In May 2023, I embarked on the search for the perfect venue, reaching out to over 40 galleries all over Ohio. While reaching out to galleries, I became involved with a local nonprofit organization in Akron called Arts Now. During this time, I participated in meetings with local galleries, providing them with insights into the experiences of a senior BFA student at the University of Akron. Additionally, I helped Arts Now and my fellow students identify and connect with more galleries that could be utilized for their own exhibitions. Eventually, I chose the Foothill Galleries in Cleveland Heights, where Michael proved to be an invaluable collaborator during the final stages of preparation. He recognized the unique value in my work that many other galleries did not. This gallery, specifically focused on photography, was a rare find.

During this stage, I also considered takeaway items that could serve as lasting reminders for visitors. Ultimately, I decided on a his-and-her-themed bag, featuring a wine opener with my website URL engraved, created with the help of SEARThink Box, and a custom-designed tape measure with a custom sticker I made in Adobe Illustrator. These items were completed by February 2024.

After securing the gallery, I focused on designing the exhibition show-card in Adobe InDesign which was finalized and posted by February 2024. Starting in March 2024, six weeks before the exhibition, I launched a social media campaign to market and promote the event, ensuring maximum visibility and engagement. Throughout this period, I continued capturing images and meticulously selecting the ones that would be showcased. In the three weeks leading up to the show, I dedicated myself to printing and framing my own work, a process that taught me invaluable lessons in self-management and meticulous organization. The entire journey was long and demanding, but ultimately rewarding. I believe the overall exhibition was a success, while also helping other students and galleries along the way. I am deeply grateful to everyone who joined me in celebrating this significant milestone.