The is my first blog post as the Photography Graduate Ambassador. The former ambassador was Evan Baden, who graduated from the program this past May. Evan was the first student I met at Columbia, thanks to the Ambassador program. His honesty about the photography program helped with my decision, and he has been a good friend and was an asset throughout my first year. You can check out his blog here and his website here. I wish him luck in his future career. Thank you again, Evan, for recommending me for this position.
Some small details about myself: I am a second year in the Photography program at Columbia College Chicago. I am from a small town near Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, called Twentynine Palms (29 Palms), California or Deuce-Nine, as the locals like to call it.
One of the questions I get asked the most: Why did I leave the nice California weather (said with a tinge of curiosity and confusion)? My answer is, of course, to attend graduate school at Columbia College. I am told I look 18, even though I am closer to 30 than 20. I have no reason to lie about my age…yet.
I completed my first year in May of this year. The final two weeks included: first year closed reviews, final class critiques and papers, second year open reviews, and a toast to the third years at their exhibition at the Glass Curtain gallery. I will elaborate more on these events in later posts.
Winter and summer breaks from graduate school are like going from 60 mph to 1 mph. There are no longer deadlines to meet every week, classes, and faculty meetings to attend. It is a little jolting at first, however the breaks offer a nice breather. I gave myself some time to decompress and reflect on the last year. I took a break from the hectic schedule and spent some time with family back in California.
This summer was my first not spent in California, minus my visit home during the last two weeks of May. My plans fell through so my summer was spent wholly in Chicago, which was actually really nice. June, July, and much of August was spent exploring the city and surrounding areas, playing softball, riding my bike, working at the Hyde Park Art Center, finding a second job, moving to a new apartment, and continuing and preparing new work.
I was fortunate enough to see some of my favorite bands perform. Die Antwoord at the Riviera in Uptown, The Early November at Subterranean in Wicker Park, and my all time favorite band from California, Rx Bandits at the Rave in Milwaukee. I spent my Sundays playing softball and attending events, like Chicago’s Annual Pride Parade, RibFest in Uptown, and Taste of Chicago. This August marked my first year in Chicago and I realized much of it has revolved around food and food related events.
Summer is now coming to a close. I am excited to see what this school year will bring, as it already started off on a good note: becoming Graduate Ambassador for the photography program! I am looking forward to getting to know the incoming first year class, and starting my second year in the program.
An event to check out:
Hyde Park Art Center’s 75th Anniversary Block Party on September 13th. More info here.
I will be operating photo booths at the event.