In 2005, UIMA Chief Curator Kathy Edwards curated the nationally-acclaimed exhibition, Acting Out: Invented Melodrama in Contemporary Photography. The show explored the use of pathos to create relatable emotion in photography. Acting Out was inspired by a variety of genres, including film, television and stage acting, advertising, and literature. The exhibition, consequently, became a source of inspiration for University classes. John D. Freyer, SAAH Professor of Studio Art, is one of the many instructors who integrate the Acting Out catalog into his curriculum. Using the show’s images and text, Freyer’s Advanced Photography class has participated in a collaborative project for three years running. Student teams are asked to produce works that illustrate the melodramatic parameters exemplified in Edwards’ exhibition.
After the results are framed and hung on the classroom walls, Edwards critiques the pieces during annual in-class visits. This year, she noted that she was “particularly impressed by the intelligent playfulness of the images Freyer’s students created.” Success in the professional photography world is more than taking innovative photographs, though. Freyer knows it is just as important to expose his students to the business side of having an arts career. Through Edwards and the UIMA, both undergraduate and graduate students are given the unique opportunity to communicate with the professional art world. After giving feedback on the work, Edwards provides useful insight about sending work to galleries or museum curators based on her extensive past experience. Throughout the years, many students have decided to generously donate their pieces to the UIMA. This project presents one of the many ways the UIMA can be integrated into class structures. While the Museum provides a site for investigation and practicum in the immediately associated fields of Studio Art and Art History, it also provides material, contextual, and facility resources to academic departments and other entities within the University, in disciplines such as Pedagogy and Education, Anthropology, Architecture, World History, Journalism, American Studies, Cinema and Comparative Literature, and Theatre Arts. UIMA pieces serve as visual partners to text-based syllabi and combine hands-on practice with multimedia environments. The Museum is a rich learning resource for students, teachers, and the wider community. Left: Lemonade, Fall 2009 Inkjet print, 20 x 13 in. Gift of the Advanced Photography Class, UI SAAH Producer: Jennifer Novak Director: Chris Mortenson Director of Photography: Allison Plummer Lighting: Cathy Kovach Storyboards/Location Scout: Adam Hascall Postproduction/Master Printer: Jessica Leavengood 310.2011
Right: Candy Girl, Spring 2009 Inkjet print, 16 x 24 in. Gift of the Advanced Photography class, UI SAAH Producer: Amanda Smith Director: Anna Vollstedt Director of Photography: Aynslee Joyce Lighting: Jared Harrison Locations Manager: Caitlyn Alexander Production Designer: Emily Smith Digital Image Editor: Daniel Rolling Master Printer: Molly Maddigan u i m a . u i owa .edu 309.2011
University of Iowa Museum of Art - Spring 2012 Magazine