Second year begins

Second year begins

Best view – 600 S. Michigan Ave, 13th floor, September 3rd, 2014

This week marks the beginning of my second year in the photography program. It will be a busy semester. During the third semester of the three year program, second years go through a candidacy process. It takes place in late November and involves presenting a body of work created during your time in the program. I spent my first year experimenting with different approaches to my work while getting accustomed to a new environment. It is a pass or fail process. Passing signifies that you are ready to work on your thesis project.

The Portrait - Kelli Connell discussing an undergraduate student work

The Portrait – Kelli Connell discussing an undergraduate’s work.

That said, this semester’s class schedule is important. I am currently enrolled in The Portrait, co-taught for the first time by three photography faculty members, Dawoud Bey, Kelli Connell, and Paul D’Amato. Each person has taught the class previously and all are accomplished photographers dealing with portraiture in different ways. The second course is Visual Narratives, taught by Niki Nolan in the Interdisciplinary Arts department. It is my first class outside of Columbia’s photography department. During the second semester of the first year and going forward, we can take graduate level courses in other departments to meet degree requirements. I am also taking the class with a fellow graduate ambassador for Book and Paper, Dustin.

My third course is Graduate Seminar, which makes up the bulk of the program. Two full time faculty members teach the seminar in rotation. Throughout four semesters, the instructor pair should not repeat because of the amount of faculty CCC has. This semester it is taught by Dawoud Bey and Judy Natal. I previously had Kelli Connell and Paul D’Amato, then Myra Greene and Ross Sawyers in spring. Each pair structures the class differently. The class takes place on Fridays, and is composed of first and second year students. There are currently 8 second years and 7 first years. I am eager to see how this semester is structured.

Lake BBQ – Welcome First Years

Another thing that happens the second year is the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses. This semester I am Peter Fitzpatrick’s, the chair of the photography department, TA for an Art & Design course titled Photographing People. The course has three 5-week sections. I am really excited to see how this course goes. Columbia’s undergraduate structure is nothing like my undergraduate experience.

New work (fuji-roid test)

New work (fuji-roid test)

Exhibition to check out:

Woman Made Gallery: Thesis – Julie Weber & Sara J. Winston

Woman Made Gallery, 685 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60642

The show features two recent graduates, Julie Weber and Sara J. Winston, from the MFA Photography program.