MU Photo Club hosts virtual lecture series with practicing photographers

The series gives students the opportunity to learn from accomplished photographers working in and outside of the U.S.

MU’s Photo Club is not letting the COVID-19 pandemic stop them this spring semester. Since January 20th, Photo Club has been hosting their Zoom Artist Lecture Series. The series is open to the public and students of all majors.

“We encourage everyone because it's honestly more fun,” Photo Club president Kylee Isom said. “Most of the people in my class and also in the Photo Club aren't art majors, and they aren't even photo majors.”

When the pandemic started, faculty advisor Travis Shaffer and his colleagues had to think of an idea for Photo Club to adapt to the changing environment. In previous years, visiting artists spoke with students in person.

This year, Shaffer said in-person lectures are not possible due to logistical issues. Since the majority of the visiting artists live outside of the U.S., the virtual series has opened a new window into photography that may have not been accessible pre-pandemic.

The lecture series features artists such as Anastasia Samoylova, Joshua Citarella and Rana Young.

“I think that that's really impactful,” Isom said. “A lot of people who would otherwise be left out of that scene or not be able to go to a major art gallery to hear an artist talk could get to hear one and have that experience.”

Isom said that the lecture series removes the wall between professionals and students, allowing them to have a real conversation about art.

“It takes the elitist notion of high art out of the picture,” Isom said. “Everybody and anyone can attend; all you have to do is click a link, and it's entirely free for all of the public to see.”

Joshua Theus, junior and member of Photo Club, believes the Zoom Artist Lecture Series is an engaging way to interact with people who have chosen photography as their profession.

“For the hour and a half, I feel like I need to just be a sponge and just receive and receive,” Theus said. “It’s unprecedented access into these individuals and their workflows as well as their thoughts, ideologies and methodologies.”

Not only does the series connect artists to students, but it also gives a look into the world of art itself.

“It’s so cool to have working professionals be accessible,” Theus said. “Being a part of like-minded people who are passionate is wonderful and encouraging.”

For more information on Photo Club and the Zoom Artist Lecture Series, check out https://missouri.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/photo-club or email president Kylee Isom.

Edited by Angelina Edwards | aedwards@themaneater.com

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