And so it begins…

Here at Sewanee we have this lovely thing called, “Comps,” or rather Comprehensive Exams. What does this mean? Each senior takes a HUGE test over their major, covering all classes offered within their field of study. While most of my friends are preparing for a multi-day essay exam or an extensive thesis paper, Art Majors do something a little different. Our comp includes a show of our thesis body of work in the University Gallery, a public presentation, a ten page thesis paper, and a private defense. We’ve all been working on this for over a year and our show, the first step of the comp, is right around the corner on April 12. I’ve spent my spring break in the dark room re-printing and prepping for the upcoming exhibition. Its thrilling to know I will shortly be displaying all the hard work I’ve put in, but nerve-racking and stressful thinking about what’s left to do. Wish me luck in these final three weeks! 

Below are two scanned negatives of some of my newest works. More updates to come! 

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Rogovin and Social Documentary Photography

Lately, I’ve been extremely interested in Milton Rogovin’s work. He was a social documentary photographer from Buffalo, NY. My mom gave me his book for Christmas and its been hugely inspirational. His connection with the subjects is evident within his photographs and further shown in this short film, “The Forgotten Ones.”

 

 

His photographs of the people from Lower West Side seen in the film are touching. But personally, I am more interested in Appalachia and his photographs of the miners and their families. Below are a few of my favorite..

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Appalachia_007 Appalachia_051Appalachia_085 Appalachia_141 Appalachia_142

“For years Anne and I had read about the serious problems facing miners in Appalachia. We read about the mine explosions resulting in numerous deaths. Many miners suffered from black lung disease, which the mine owners did not consider an illness caused by work in the mines and therefore not subject to worker’s compensation.

In 1962 we decided to spend out summer vacation time in the minefields of Appalachia. Most of the larger mines were cosed at that time. The only ones functioning were small, run by a handful of miners who leased them from the big mine owners. Day after day we drove around looking for small mines, where I asked the miners if I could photograph them. Mainly I concentrated on the families who lived in the mining areas. I photographed them in their homes and on their porches, where they sat to get some relief from the stifling heat. The results of the first summer’s work were so encouraging that we returned to that area over a period of nine summers.” – Milton Rogovin

You can see more of his work here.

one of my favorite poems/a beautiful way to live life

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy

© Max Ehrmann 1927