|Global Foto Project - Collage of works by students of Montgomery County Community College PA USA|
For more than 16 years, I taught Art in my country, Poland. I loved the job for one main reason. I could inspire my students and help them expand their creativity. I could teach them across the boundaries of traditional art and culture and for them to develop new ways of seeing and thinking.
Unfortunately, after 1989 the communist system collapsed, the Polish authorities focused mostly on economy transition and development and not things like creativity. Art education has been mostly neglected here. I stopped teaching Art, but I have never stopped promoting creative artists and living a creative life.
With the Internet things are far easier for creative people worldwide to connect and share art and ideas. I have the great pleasure to promote other artists work. Today I want to share with you The Global Foto Project, produced by US photo-based artist and educator Walter Plotnick with his students at Montgomery County Community College PA, USA..
Mr. Plotnick instructed his students to not only study photographic masters but to explore contemporary photography of students across Asia and Europe. American students explored the artwork of their peers from art academies and universities both in terms of content and style. Getting an international global view of other student’s images, communities and experimental photographic process was very educational. These explorations have inspired the images below by Mr. Plotnick’s students. What strikes me most about the images is the variety of themes students tackle and the styles their work present. They seem to be the works of mature artists. .
|Foto 1, Bunley Lim|
I particularly like the work by Lim Bunley (Fot. 1). The bird-like shadows in the background that differ from actual birds inspired still life composition bring us into another reality. They signify two worlds, material in one and imaginary in the other.
Similarly, dual meaning has the work by Rosemary Haas (Fot. 2). She has chosen a difficult composition of combining black and white and light vs. shade. The suggested meaning behind the composition is great, Ms. Haas’s work shows bright and dark parts of life or nature itself by means of a simple gold fish in a glass and black and white background composition. This is the theme I have special interest in and I think it is worth exploring in more detail by Ms. Haas.
|Foto 2, by Rosemary Haas|
Different approach I see in Cortney Baltrush’s work (Fot. 3) depicting a metal structure immersed in the ocean waters. I don’t know what it is, but what I see in this work it is the association of water waves and wavy shape of the structure. As most of us love sea views for obvious reasons I perceive this structure that spoils the beauty of horizon as the synonym of culture destroying nature.
|Foto 3, by Cortney Baltrush|
Another work (Fot. 4), a still life by student Matthew Olsen depicting a kitchen interior reminds me of old Dutch masters’ paintings. The natural light used here creates that old masterpieces mood of warm and intimacy. The only thing I would suggest improving in this work is the background that could be more blurred to better focus viewers’ attention on objects in the foreground
|Foto 4, by Matthew Olsen|
The work by Sarah Calamia (Fot. 5); it seems to be just a play with colours, but on a deeper level the drop of colour changing its environment, in this case water in a glass, may as well signify a small, humble person who makes a huge impact on other people. Intriguing theme worth exploring on both, formal and symbolic level
|Foto 5, by Sarah Calamia|
Tattoo man photo by Charles Lewis (Fot. 6) is a very interesting work, both, for its diagonal, dynamic composition and the current culture trend theme. The close-up approach and the light focus on the model creates a moment of reflection and the mood of intimacy. The photo has all the quality of great photography.
|Foto 6, by Charles Lewis|
The last work (Fot. 7) I am going to comment on is the photo of a modern shop interior by Soyoun Kim. Although, I am not excited about modern structures generally, I really love the play of lines and colours, geometric shapes of the background compared with organic one of a moving woman. The blur of the moving person reflected in a wall behind and the colours of shop baskets are a symbol of life in this cold industrial steel and glass space.
|Foto 7, by Soyoun Kim|
To sum up, all the works presented here and their authors, young students at Montgomery County Community College PA, USA have a great creative potential. They have been inspired by fellow students around the world and by their instructor Walter Plotnick.
is photo-based artist and educator. He teaches photography in the United States at Montgomery County Community College, PA. To learn more about the artist, visit his website walterplotnick.com
|Montgomery County Community College PA US|
Written by Danuta Antas