by Rich Kiley
The William Harris Gallery at Rochester Institute of Technology is presenting a collaborative display by six RIT senior photojournalism students titled “Where We Stand” through March 3.
This exhibition is the capstone event of the students’ photojournalism studies in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (SPAS) at RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS). It celebrates the culmination of a year-long documentary project judged in accordance with the highest photojournalistic standards.
The exhibiting senior visual artists include Flannery Allison (St. Louis); Dominique Hessert (Lamoine, Maine); Jenn March (Rochester, N.Y.); Meg Oliphant (Coventry, Conn.); Paula Ospina (Bethesda, Md.); and Michael Owens (Rochester, N.Y.).
“The students selected this exhibit title as a way of expressing the emotional and physical journey of the people they documented, as well as the place they find themselves following the conclusion of the capstone experience—and as they approach graduation,” said Jenn Poggi, assistant professor, SPAS. “The title reflects both the literal idea of where the artists stood when they made the work, and the recognition that, over time, their perspective will continue to evolve as they acquire different life experiences and goals.”
Left: Conor Maxcy rides the mail boat en route to Isle au Haut, Maine, in this photo scene from RIT senior photojournalism student Dominique Hessert’s capstone project. The photo is part of a collaborative documentary exhibit by six RIT senior photojournalism students titled “Where We Stand,” on display inside Gannett Hall’s William Harris Gallery through March 3.
Through “Where We Stand,” the six graduating photojournalism students are demonstrating the affirmative power of visual documentary storytelling to speak boldly and constructively about the world today, Poggi said. The projects share themes related to life in its constant state of change as the singular connection between an otherwise disparate group of stories. The breadth of projects ranges from the disappearing lifestyle on a remote island in Maine, the fierce determination of the first all-women’s cycling team in Rochester, N.Y., and the role of dance in a teenager’s struggle to overcome obstacles, to an athlete’s pursuit of a professional hockey career once thought unattainable, the desire of an accomplished curling athlete to give back to her beloved sport, and the diligent and methodical approach of a highly successful professional sports photographer.
The work is expressed primarily through video and interactive mediums, which highlight the focus on a multidisciplinary approach to storytelling, Poggi said.
The William Harris Gallery is located on the third floor of RIT’s Gannett Hall. The gallery is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The gallery offers an academic calendar of exhibitions by visiting artists, faculty and advanced students; artists’ talks; master classes; and portfolio reviews. For information, call Therese Mulligan, gallery director and administrator chair of SPAS, at 585-475-2884 or email email@example.com.