ASU Student Photographers Association (ASUSPA) created an exhibit called the “Agency of Ideas.” It features the work of current photography students and alumni from ASU’s School of Art.
On Tuesday at 6 p.m., Northlight Gallery hosted an opening reception for the exhibit. At first sight, the collection seemed lacking in cohesion. No clear theme defined the assemblage of photographs, but the attendees saw something profound.
Photography senior Megan Richmond found the exhibit title fitting.
“It brings together photographers and ideas that wouldn’t necessarily belong together,” she said. “Viewers can find their own correlations in the works.”
In an attempt to decipher the connection between the photos, viewers should devote an extended period of time to browse the gallery. The collection is loosely bound by a broad title and the pieces demand that viewers have an open mind.
While prints lined the walls, each photo told several different stories. A distinct piece by Marcy Norris titled “Tied with a Bow” featured a boy with a broken red ribbon tied around his back. He stood in an open garage. A corner of a yard, broken toys and a street visible within the frame. The photo possessed a serious flare with elements of innocence complementing examples of poverty in the same space.
Another image depicted a middle-aged woman treading through a pool. With a worn face and a furrowed brow, she captured the quintessence of aging and the consequence life’s hardships have on vitality.
Fathoming a linear concept within the collection was an exercise in futility. Instead, each piece should be judged on its stand-alone merits.
Photography major Abigail Lynch captured in her digital pigment prints a sunset on a van and a mailbox with a mural on the side.
The eccentricity of the exhibit necessitated a second perusal of the gallery. Photo enthusiasts and student photographers talked about the pieces they found striking and some explained their own work.
Photography junior Michael Williams spoke about his piece called “Bearing Stigmas.” He photographed a man with tattoos and scars across his chest. Only the man’s neck, shoulders and upper chest were visible in the photo.
He explained that society casts quick judgments based on appearances and not enough on character. Williams said that scars are visible, but the story behind those scars remains a mystery.
The “Agency of Ideas” collection excelled at displaying the talents of photography students. ASUSPA meets monthly to discuss photography, host workshops, organize studio visits and assist with portfolio reviews. ASUSPA plans to host a lecture from UA art professor David Taylor on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m.
Reach the reporter at Stephanie.Tate@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @StephanieITA