Learning Curve 13
Learning Curve is an annual exhibition of selected work made by Houston Center for Photography students from the past year. It features a range of photo-based work—including digital, analog, and alternative processes—and highlights the various educational programs HCP offers through its Learning Center.
This year’s juror is Boston-based fine art photographer Archy LaSalle, an educator of over 25 years and founder of the WHERE ARE ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE AT initiative. His work has received national and international attention, and he has worked extensively in England, France, Italy, Japan, South Africa, and China. LaSalle is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and was the 2009 recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award by CENTER in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
“Even after many decades of taking photographs, looking at photographs, and teaching photography, I continue to be surprised and delighted by student photographers’ work. It was a pleasure to look at each photograph that was entered for this exhibition, and my selection of 20 photos was a challenging endeavor. I love the name of this exhibition because even as an experienced photographer, I continue to learn.
As a juror, I believe that it’s relevant to tell you something about my own work. Form is the content of my work. Whatever the apparent subject may be before the lens, the impulse to make an image is primarily driven by the forms I see. Having spent most of my career working with a film camera, I have always seen and been as interested in the edges of a picture as its center. When looking at the work, my first criterion is the strength of the image photographically. As an artist, creativity and imagination play an essential role in making a photograph interesting. I enjoy exhibitions where a range of interests are represented. Some of the photographs depict the natural world, and others give a more personal and social interpretation.
In Wearing the Crown, The Lookout, and the Fallow by Laura Hannusch, I was impressed with her understanding of depth of field, and with how her composition is critical in producing a stellar photograph. There were many photographs submitted that represented social commentary. I chose Amazon House by Elaine Matte, as it makes something ordinary appear extraordinary and quite beautiful. The image Armed Parent by Ed Malcik of a family representing their political support was selected because it has a strong composition, and I find the juxtaposition of the flags and the people gripping. Some of the images, such as Moon Bathing by Aimee McCrory, were chosen due to its abstract and surrealistic qualities and its beautiful light. Somehow the Mind by Kell Nelson was selected for its use of colors to inspire the inner and outer landscapes.
Perfecting the craft of photography takes years of work. One can argue that there is always some subjectivity involved, and I acknowledge that, but in the end, the work should be true to the art and the many elements that must be there to make a wonderful photograph. Thank you to all the artists who submitted to this exhibition. It was a delight to be introduced to your work. I hope to see more of your work as you continue to evolve!”
– Archy LaSalle