Category: Art Education

My time as a Visiting Artist at UAH

Art, Art History and Design Building at UAH.

By now, most of you know I recently exhibited my latest body of work Luminiferous:  Adventures in Metal at the Wilson Hall Gallery on the University of Alabama in Huntsville campus this past March.


(Photo by Jose Betancourt)

As a visiting artist I also taught a digital image transfer workshop with the students in Jose Bentancourts‘ Experimental Photography Class.  I introduced the class to alcohol gel transfers and DASS supersauce transfers to wood, metal foils and glass.


I like to encourage students to bring in substrates of their choice for transfers images onto as shown in the above photograph.


Raeley Stevenson distressed the edges on the emulsion side of film before transferring onto watercolor paper.

You know you’re doing something right when you can generate excitement in sharing your process!  And it was such a pleasure to get students excited about image transfer.  A lot of great results came from the workshop as you can see below.



In addition to exhibiting and teaching, I was also lecturing…three lectures to be exact.


One lecture was to Jose Betancourts‘ Documentary Photography class.  This talk was very detailed specific and entirely about my involvement with the Haitian Art Company and the multiple trips (one of which was 2 months!!) I made to Haiti during my 7 years of service to the gallery in Key West.  As one would expect, this experience had an enormous influence on my life as artist and creative professional.



The business gave me unique access to Haitian artists and allowed me to experience the culture in a way that is unavailable to the average person.  The photographs I have taken in Haiti reflect a bond I have with my subjects and contain emotional power attained only through the crossing of cultural boundaries.  Obviously I highlighted my images of Haiti, developed in the style of 19th century photographs and talked extensively about my travels with artist Franz Zephirin who was determined to show me ‘the real Haiti’.  We traveled to Cap Haitien and specifically to his grandmother’s voodoo compound where I was graciously given permission to record the events of a seasonal voodoo ritual.   Ceremony of the Serviteur was shown in it’s entirety during this talk.

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Photography Time Machine Workshop with LVA

In addition to teaching workshops with the Louisville Photo Biennial this past fall, I also had the pleasure of working with LVA and their Open Door Features at Home of The Innocents.  During the Photo Time Machine Workshop I got to take students through the history of photography working with cyanotypes, polaroids, disposal and digital cameras as well as image transfers!  Anyone who really knows me, knows that this workshop is right up my alley with my love for alternative processing, toy and instant cameras!  When showing them my grandfather’s old Minolta SLR, my Polaroid SX 70 and collection of plastic Holgas, they got so excited…opening up the camera body was totally new for them!  You forget growing up in the pre-digitalization era that most kids today have never seen film being loaded into a camera.  It was fun watching them freak out when shooting with disposal cameras, having no idea what they are capturing without an LCD screen!

Every session resulted with an actual printed image (even when we worked in digital!!!)…something we lack with easy image capturing of today!  I loved introducing Andy Warhol and how he not only used the polaroid camera as a tool for documenting his friends and parties (the original Instagram!), he also used many of these images for his silk screen series.  When I brought in the digital cameras, I also taught 5 basic rules for stronger photo composition.  What a pleasure it was to see how they incorporate these rules into their photographs!  One of the students captured a really nice image of me (which is rare as I am totally UN-photogenic).  Great example of shooting with the rule of thirds in mind!

I really loved this teaching gig and it shows in the photograph above!  Gotta say that the students really enjoyed these sessions too!  The sheer excitement they had in receiving prints from their disposable camera project or seeing their polaroid image develop as they shook it, reinforced the importance of the print in photography.

Thanks to LVA for turning me onto this special opportunity and to all the staff at HOTI for helping making the 8 week experience a success!

Click HERE to read the LVA blog post and see images from this workshop!!

An Overview of LPB workshops (mostly) in Photographs

This fall, I had the pleasure of teaching an introduction to digital photography workshop with the Louisville Photo Biennial. The LPB received a Metro External Agency grant enabling educational programming opportunities to 5 underserved community centers in the Louisville Metro area.  By the end of the 5th workshop, we educated 40 participants, that ranged in age from 9-18 years, many of whom were quite inspired by the photographic medium, which is really exciting to witness!!  Below is an overview mostly in photographs.




A fun element to this workshop was that students made prints of their best work.  The following are images that students deemed print worthy.


I loved how candid most students felt in front of the camera!  All kinds of poses were struck during these sessions.



In addition to photographing one another, many of the participants loved photographing the staff at the community centers.  Big thanks to them for all their help during the workshops!!


For it’s price, ease of use and creative options, the Nikon Coolpix S7000 was a great camera to teach an intro to digital photo class!  Mirror mode and Selective Color were two creative modes that got a lot of milage in this series of workshops.



I could not have done all of this without the help of some amazing volunteers.  I thank you immensely for giving up your time to assist me during these workshops.  Each one was better because of you!!


And BIG thanks to this man, Paul Paletti!   An event that started in 1999 with 4 participating galleries, the Louisville Photo Biennial has since grown to encompass 65 exhibitions of work by contemporary photographers.  None of this would have been achieved without Paul’s dedicated coordination of the event since 2003.  He even brought lunch to each workshop!  Thank you Paul!



And no story about a photo workshop is complete without some self-timed group photos!


Big shout out to Murphy’s Camera on Bardstown Road!  They were our one stop shop for all cameras, printers, inks and accessories used in the workshops.  The staff is super friendly and extremely helpful!!  Please support this awesome local business for all your photographic needs!

So grateful for this opportunity!  Thanks for reading.