Alumnus Sam Krisch's New Exhibit Elements


Disko Bay #4, 2013

Sam Krisch’s new exhibit Elements opens at Virginia Tech in Blackburg, Virginia Friday, December 5, 2014 (5-7 pm) and runs through Sunday, February 1, 2015.
“The sheer power and splendor of nature in far-away places is the subject of Sam Krisch’s photographic practice. Over the last five years, Krisch has journeyed to remote locations ranging from the Mohave Desert to Antarctica to capture stunning images of ice formations, the raw force of turbulent waters, and empty expanses of desert landscapes. This exhibition presents a selection of the artist’s digital photographs created between 2013 and 2014, in which his approach to composition verges on the abstract, taking the work beyond documentation into a world of pristine, yet daunting, beauty. These are gorgeous, even idyllic landscapes, tinged nonetheless with the terrifying knowledge that these worlds are slipping away in an irreversible trajectory caused by human forces. Krisch lives and works in Roanoke. He is the adjunct curator of photography at the Taubman Museum of Art.”
Find out more about the exhibit Elements here.
Find out more about Sam Krisch here.

Alumnus Doug Eng's New Exhibit – On Fertile Ground

On Fertile Ground Postcard-1

Exhibit through December 4, 2014

“On Fertile Ground: The Wing Lee Yuen Truck Farm”

Lufrano Intercultural Gallery for Peace

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL

The Importance of Personal Projects – By Doug Eng

“We de-prioritize personal projects due to lack of time, commitment, or guilt about working on something that doesn’t generate income or Facebook “likes.” It’s easy to make a great snapshot or prioritize paying work, and hard to find personal projects with depth and meaning. In 2007 my family’s farm of 70 years was being sold and I struggled to find the motivation to photograph the vacated buildings and family houses. Fortunately curiosity overruled and I reconnected with a lifetime of memories of monthly trips to the farm. As I walked through the property with my camera, vague memories were brought into clear focus through the act of photography. Each space, object, and smell, triggered a recollection of my past and realignment with my own origins. The images sat on my computer for several years. In 2010 I received a grant to create an exhibit for the public. I used a framework provided by JP to bring the body of work to a completed state for exhibition with great success. In late 2013, the Lufrano Intercultural Gallery for Peace at the University of North Florida provided another opportunity to exhibit the project. I decided to re-visit all of the images, both content and process. I was surprised to find the difference 4 years made in my own interpretation of the images. Photography is a wonderful medium that allows us to continuously evolve our message. Only after I began to write about the project several years after the images were made and the land sold and cleared, did I realize the importance of creating the only visual record of this American story. I am reminded of a quote by Emmet Gowin: “There are things in your life that only you will see, stories that only you will hear. If you don’t tell them or write them down, if you don’t make the picture, these things will not be seen, these things will not be heard.” It may not be obvious to you why your personal project is important, but it is. Work on it now, before your “farm” is gone. “

Lean more about the On Fertile Ground project here.

Lean more about Doug Eng’s photography and projects here.

View more Alumni Success Stories here.

Alumnus Olaf Willoughby – Visual Conversations

By Olaf Willoughby
“A Visual Conversation sets up a rhythm, a pattern of communicating in which images fit with one another, with a chosen text, a piece of music or artwork of any kind. It helps develop our voice and vision.
Working through a series of Visual Conversations, each becomes a stepping stone which exercises the creative muscles and takes us beyond our regular shooting routines.
Visual Conversations work so well because they are based on the centuries old principle of ‘call and response’. A tradition of improvised exchange evident in everything from Hindu spiritual chants to modern day blues/gospel and jazz. From Japanese Renga linked poetry circles to folded paper stories.
How does this work in practice? I select an image which resonates, share it with you and ask you to shoot an image which rhymes, fits or starts a conversation with the original. Pretty straightforward, although there are systematic approaches to doing this. And still more ways of building that into a dialogue.
Now what if I select a painting by Rothko, or a poem by Edgar Allen Poe or Roberta Flack singing, ‘The first time ever I saw your face’? It’s a little more difficult. It requires more intense study and understanding of the original work of art to interpret it photographically. It stretches our minds to think about art in new ways.
Or how about if we develop the conversation into a narrative through storytelling? There are multiple permutations leading into other exercises…. I’m sure you get the idea. Add into this group discussion and feedback and it becomes an exciting learning experience. Each call and response takes us out of our routine and asks us to think differently about our photography.
But that’s not all. What makes this special is that your creativity can be extended beyond assignments into the process itself. As you’d expect, some Conversations involve working solo but others take ‘the road less travelled’ and involve working together on shared projects.
There is a spectrum of co-operation in the arts. Whilst some prefer to write books alone in coffee shops, others operate in collectives. Some partner up at different stages in the production process (choreographer/dancer, author/editor) and some of the most famous simply collaborate. Think Lennon & McCartney, Picasso & Braque. Look around. Every movie, play, symphony, rock ballad, even architectural space and garden involves artists working together. Yet collaboration is rare in photography. There are examples like Bernd & Hilla Becher or today, the Starn Twins but they are few and far between.
Occasionally we catch a glimpse of the collaborative spirit in photo workshops. At the end of the day, participants gather to share their solo work and you can feel the buzz in the air as people are amazed at the different ways of seeing and shooting, even though they were often at the same location.
Sharing projects captures that buzz and helps us let go of the need to control. We both give and receive in creative decision making and come to see our own work in a different light.
I’ve experienced the benefits of Visual Conversations and collaborative projects first hand. They are fun but clearing the creative blocks arising from routine ways of working can be challenging.Expect to be jolted. But also expect to benefit from taking a different approach to your photography and returning to your personal work refreshed and enhanced.
I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with Eileen McCarney Muldoon, a talented photographic artist in Jamestown, Rhode Island. We’ve captured that creative buzz and put it into a workshop. We’d be delighted if you would check it out. Even better, the course includes complimentary access to Leica equipment.
Plus a guest appearance during the week from a world renowned digital artist. I’ll leave you to guess who that might be!”

For more information contact: or

Alumnus Michael Quinn On Being Discovered

Recently I got “Discovered”. I awoke one morning to 3 emails all from strangers. The Huffington Post, UK SWNS and the UK Hot Spot Media. They were all wanting the work that I had published on the Adobe Behance website called “Greenland Reflections”. I had published several images from my trip to Greenland in 2012 as I was preparing for my return trip in 2013. I wanted to see what was working and what was missing so that I could more fully flush out a body of work. Well a blogger found me and posted my work on My Modern Met that got noticed.
This would not have happened if not for two key events. Since I began this journey in 2010 I have been working extremely hard on my vision and my mechanics. John Paul has been there on so many occasions to feed my imagination. To coach me and then to set me on my own path. There has been a lot of help freely given by the Next Step group over the years. In person, from the website and over emails. The group is so diverse in their own visions and mechanics that it allowed me to dream. To dream bigger than I ever thought I could.
The second event is sharing. You have to share your work to some degree to get noticed. I’m using Behance, Google+, Facebook and more recently Dropr. I generally only post images on Google+ and then post a link to that on my Facebook feed. You need to put your work out there for people to find. There is of course the downside to sharing as well. But you have to just take the risk and get yourself out there.
I have been trying to write something to accompany the images that I post. It generally has to have a theme that the image pairs well with. I think that sharing your thoughts along with your vision makes the work somehow more personal, more intimate, more intriguing. I think that it allows the audience to connect with me on some level.
In summary – Dream big, really Big. Then work hard to get there. Then allow your work to be seen. Allow yourself to be known.
Learn more about Michael and see more of his work here.

Alumnus Olaf Willoughby – Collaborative Creativity

Why don’t photographers collaborate more often?

Collaboration is how we get through the day. Most of us have some kind of interactive support; from partners, teachers, friends and family. It is also commonplace in science and the arts. From Marie & Pierre Curie through Rogers and Hammerstein to Picasso & Braque inventing Cubism. Andy Goldsworthy even enlists the land as his partner.
Read More

Alumna Kathy Beal Signature™ fine art silk scarves now available!

Alumni Kathy Beal has opened her own signature line of fine art silk scarves featuring her own images. Her online store is now open for business!
“I’m thrilled to announce that Kathy Beal Signature™ fine art silk scarves is now open for business.  You’ll find three collections for 2013 plus a special edition scarf.  The Summer Collection features designs in peaches, lavender and sage and are printed on soft silk Georgette.  The Fall Collection has warm and wonderful fall colors, and the Winter Collection features sparkling jewel tones.  Both the Fall and Winter Collections are luxurious silk crepe de chine.
Every year I will design a Special Edition Scarf dedicated to a worthy cause.  This year’s design is dedicated to women’s breast cancer research, and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to this cause.
There are two options for shipping; USPS Priority Mail is free (yes, free!) and delivery is within 2-3 days.  Overnight Federal Express is $35.
And if you make a purchase before the end of November 2013, you may use the coupon code of F&F2013 for an introductory, friends and family discount of 15%.
Your comments are always welcome, so please send me an email ( with your comments and suggestions.”

Alumnus Harry Sandler Joins OnStage Magazine

OnStage Magazine is proud to announce that veteran tour manager/photographer Harry Sandler has come on board as our Director of Photography. Harry brings a wealth of musical history to the table, and we are certain that this partnership will help us develop the magazine in new and exciting ways. Harry plans to contribute both published and unpublished photos from his time in New York during the late 60’s early 70’s right up to the present day. Together with our writers, he will also recount his experiences working with some of the top talent in the music industry.

Alumnus Sam Krisch's Roaming Plan: iPhone Wanderings

The Ann White Academy Gallery
June 7-28, 2013
Saturday Artist Talk:  
June 8th – 11:00 a.m. 
”IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR: Vintage Photography With The iPhone”
First Friday Opening 
Friday, June 7 from 5-8pm
Sam Krisch is a Roanoke, Virginia fine art photographer. His landscape and portrait work has been exhibited recently in exhibitions throughout the U. S. and his prints are part of corporate, museum, and individual collections.
Find out more about Sam’s exhibit here.
Find out more about Sam here.

Images That Work & Why – Participant’s Antarctica 2013

Feedback on work produced during a workshop is an important part of each learning experience. Useful feedback usually starts with identifying core strengths before a discussion about how to improve (no matter how successful images are) and identifying possible next steps.
Here’s a collection of participant images from our Antarctica Crossing The Circle 2013 Voyage and a quick note about each image’s core strengths.

Ginette Vachon presents peak action in a way that elicits empathy

Cathrine Spikkerud enlivens an other-worldy stage with quiet understated action

Nancy Leigh animates an already dramatic stage with an energetic gesture

Marilynn Nance uses rhythm and perspective to make an historic building even more interesting

Robert Pettit use repetition to create a play between balance and imbalance

Fusako Hara explores the transitions between realism and abstraction

Benoit Feron uses line and texture to reveal natural processes

Jodie Willard uses opaque layers a strongly felt sense of space through design

Karin Pettit use transparent layers to portray depth

Norm Larson uses abstraction to portray not just an external reality but also to suggest an internal state

Celie Placzek uses number and proximity to suggest community

Jim Brewster uses negative space to highlight important figures amid chaos

Dennis Lenehan uses mass and volume to create dramatic contrasts

Geir Morten Skeie employs a delicate palette to create a transcendant mood for a monolithic structure

Joelle Rokovich expresses contrasts in scale to express size and distance with a minimalist efficiency
Find out about our 2014 Fly Antarctica Sail Across The Circle Voyage here.
Only 9 spaces are left.