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World Photography Day: Celebrating photography at Stamps

August 19 is World Photography Day! To celebrate, we’re shining a spotlight on our student, faculty, and alumni photographers. Check out some of the amazing photographic work from the Stamps community.

Photograph of a pair of sneakers hang over a barbed wire fence.
What I Could’ve Been” by Victor Luis Garcia

Victor Luis Garcia: What I Could’ve Been”

Featured in the 2023 Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, What I Could’ve Been” by Victor Luis Garcia explores Garcia’s hometown in Capped Guerrero, Mexico. 

I am the living dream mis abuelos had when they left their lives behind and crossed the border, hoping for anything better,” says Garcia in an artist statement. From a third-grade dropout to an upperclassman in college, my family started off with nothing, and I have the power to give them everything.”

A black and white photograph of a young girl reaching up at the sky with a body of water in the background.
The Only Grace They Could Have Is The Grace They Could Imagine” by Idris Young

Idris Young: The Only Grace They Could Have Is The Grace They Could Imagine”

Three photographs from student Idris Young were featured in the 2023 Undergraduate Juried Exhibition. The series was inspired by Toni Morrison’s Beloved,” and the not always visible yet violent legacy of slavery and how grief itself lingers.” 

In these photographs, I aim to compositionally depict this interaction between the Black body and the landscape, specifically water,” says Young in an artist statement.

Collage of four photos featuring a person modeling costumes that depict the following: "The Bimbo, The Cowboy, The Final Girl, and The Explorer."
Misster Monster’s Movie Emporium” by Andrea Ziemkowski

Andrea Ziemkowski: Misster Monster’s Movie Emporium”

Featured in the 2023 Stamps School Senior Exhibition, Andrea Ziemkowski’s Misster Monster’s Movie Emporium,” is a series of photographs that explores the masculine and feminine archetypes seen throughout Hollywood’s history.

Hypermasculine films shaped my sense of adventure, and the female archetypes of horror films taught me the power of feminine rage,” says Ziemkowski in an artist statement. Some portraits portray key components of these archetypes like the journey of The Mobman’ anti-hero or the masculine and romantic history of The Cowboy.’”

Black and white magazine cover featuring a photograph of a woman on a phone with hair in curlers. The title reads: Chivalry: Dead or Just Sleeping, For the Community of Hopeless Romantics.
Is Chivalry Dead? Or is it Just Sleeping?” by Leigh Cohen

Leigh Cohen: Is Chivalry Dead? Or is it Just Sleeping?” 

Alum Leigh Cohen’s BFA thesis project is an ode to the hopeless romantics of modern-day romance. Through photography and editorial design, Cohen used 1950s aesthetics and film culture to redefine chivalry. 

The text and photography expose the ways that technology and other modern advancements have influenced the way we seek and sustain romance in unprecedented ways,” says Cohen in an artist statement.

A couple walks across the ocean shoreline with a seagull ahead.
Coming of Age” by Ghida Hammoud

Ghida Hammoud: Coming of Age”

Ghida Hammoud’s photograph, Coming of Age,” was featured in the 2022 Undergraduate Juried Exhibition. 

Coming of age, what can we see? Although to our eyes it is imaginably destined, we don’t know the road and how it left them. Follow the aging of beauty and complexity through the piece by following the characters as they lead out to the swishing ocean of gone souls,” says Hammoud in an artist statement.

Black and white photo of a pregnant woman hanging laundry on a clothesline.
Joanne Leonard, Sonia, 1966 (via San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)

Joanne Leonard: Sonia”

Distinguished University Professor Emerita Joanne Leonards photograph, Sonia,” (via San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) is one of Leonard’s works of simple capturing of women’s lives. Her intimate documentary approach is infused with layers of feminism and political commentary. 

The women’s realm might not have seemed like art at all, and those family photographs might have just seemed like snapshots,” Leonard said.​“But in the context of the political climate, and emerging context of feminism, it was important to emphasize women’s worlds and women’s work.” 

Read more about Joanne Leonard. 

Welcome to New Mexico sign with a mountainous landscape. Black and white.
Craig Varjabedian, Welcome to New Mexico, Autumn, Chama, New Mexico, 2010

Craig Varjabedian: Welcome to New Mexico”

Welcome to New Mexico,” photographed by alum Craig Varjabedian (BFA 79) is featured in the award-winning book Landscape Dreams, a New Mexico Portrait.” Varjabedian’s photographs, made over the nearly three decades that he has lived and worked in New Mexico, range over all the image-making forms — landscape, portrait, and still life — to offer a remarkably complete, varied, and original portrait of what many call the Land of Enchantment.”

Varjabedian, winner of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage’s Outstanding Photography Book in 2010, is a fine art photographer and instructor. 

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Assimilation” by Amy Davis

Amy Davis: Assimilation”

Lecturer II Amy Davis’ ongoing photography and videography endeavor, Assimilation,” is a poignant exploration of the complex and multifaceted nature of identity, particularly in the context of the immigrant experience in America. 

Inspired by my personal relationship with my husband, this project delves deep into the inner turmoil and emotional struggles of those who have relocated to the United States, as they navigate the delicate balance between preserving their cultural roots and adapting to their newfound American lifestyle,” Davis writes. 

Head to @umstamps on Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to view more student, faculty, and alumni work! 

Story by Katelyn Stuck.