MTSU Photography Student Show gives big picture to aspiring professionals

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MTSU's Photography Student Show is on display at the Baldwin Photographic Gallery, giving aspiring photographers a chance to display their creativity to a large audience.

The summer showcase officially kicked off with a mid-June grand opening that organizers say attracted over a hundred visitors on the first day.

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Students were allowed to submit a maximum of five photos for the show that are displayed in the gallery located on the second floor of the John Bragg Media and Entertainment Building. The gallery is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The gallery will remain open throughout the summer and will give students even more opportunity to have their work viewed by outside parties -- which was part of the goal for the faculty committee that oversaw the organization of the show.

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A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. Off-campus guests visiting the Baldwin Gallery should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU's Office of Parking and Transportation at www.mtsu.edu/parking/visit.php.

Photography professors Tom Jimison, Jonathan Trundle and Jackie Heigle all played vital roles in helping students prepare for the show, providing feedback throughout the spring semester to those students wanting to display their work.

According to spring graduate Hannah Allen, who was participated in the show for a number of years, such a showcase is a great opportunity for students needing a chance to get their work displayed as well as build their professional portfolios.

"It's just the fact that the student body can walk in here and see all the hard work we've done," Allen said, "I've seen people in here work so hard for this so it's just amazing to see all of this up on the wall."

Allen submitted four photos to the gallery that combined digital and analog formatting. Her composites included portraits of students combined with photographs of nature Allen had taken in various places.

"It was all about making the images look like they were one. The digital person in the studio and the intimate moment I had with nature by myself. I wanted those images to represent that person," said Allen.

Trundle described the style of Allen's composites as "double exposure" and was overall pleased with her and her classmates' submissions. With a full gallery on display, the turnout for the opening event was one of the best in recent years, he said.

"This semester there were definitely more submissions than usual, especially looking at the past few years," he added. "The fact that we've also allowed freshman classes and others to participate has certainly helped with the submissions as well."

The show's primary goal however is still to serve as a finale to the college's photography students.

"In my four or five years of doing this, the show has been very beneficial. It gives them the ability to see what it takes to get a portfolio together. Displaying their work on the wall also allows (them) to analyze their presentation and other things they could improve upon," said Trundle.

The preparation and experience students gain from participating in the show is valuable, particularly for those graduating students like Allen who will be preparing to take their work into the real world as they seek employment opportunities.

"When they go out to look for a job, an interview, or another gallery show, they have a little bit of experience as well," Trundle continued. "This is a real life experience that still allows them to take chances with their photography as they continue to try and make a name for themselves."

With a successful show in the books, Trundle and the rest of the photography department faculty will turn their attention to the next set of events that will be held in the McFarland Building, which was renovated last year to accommodate the department's move from their previous outdated headquarters near the quad.

For more information on the show and entries, contact professor Jonathan Trundle at Jonathan.Trundle@mtsu.edu or 615-898-2084.

MTSU's Photography concentration is in the Department of Electronic Media Communication. The program boasts brand new facilities that include a new digital lab, two digital classrooms, two traditional darkrooms, two daylight-capable photo studios, a student gallery, and a camera obscura.

The program also includes the nationally recognized Baldwin Photographic Gallery. Jimison is the gallery's curator. For more information about the gallery, visit http://baldwinphotogallery.com or www.facebook.com/BaldwinPhotoGallery.

Learn more about MTSU's Photography concentration at www.mtsu.edu/programs/photography/.

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