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Summer in Germany results in FOTOSOMMER exhibit for 11 students

October 7th, 2012 Posted in Arts and Life

By Katie Swain

LOGAN – Eleven Utah State University photography majors traveled more than 5,000 miles, spent a month in Germany, took thousands of pictures and dedicated hundreds of hours – all for one project. The culmination of their hard work is displayed in the Germany Study Abroad Exhibition: FOTOSOMMER on display in USU’s Gallery 102.

“I put so much into this project,” said Addie Erickson, one of the artists featured in the exhibit. “It was the best experience. I wish I could go back. I actually miss being in Germany so much I still dream about it.”

Beth Hansen, another artist in the show, said the theme of their trip was “traveling with a camera. We were all intensely focused on the trip,  ready to take a picture at any moment.”

“It was very inspiring for me,” Erickson said. “It wasn’t just about art; it was also about documenting our experiences.”

The study abroad trip took the place of a photography class for the students. The exhibit was the final project.

“The whole process of this gallery was a lot of work,” said Brianna Dickerson, a participating photography student. “It was worth it though, especially because we got credits for it.”

Prior to leaving for Germany, each student chose a focus for their individual photography projects which they would work on for the month they studied there. Focus choices varied greatly from student to student. Hansen chose to depict the growing dependence humans have on technology. She chose to display her photos on television, computer and camera screens.

“We use technology in so many ways that we don’t even realize on a day-to-day basis,” Hansen said. “I’ve displayed my photos this way to kind of force people to engage in the technology and help them realize their dependency on it. Like, if the battery dies on that laptop, then my pictures are gone from the exhibit.”

Dickerson chose the title “A Tourist and Their Camera” for her focus.

“A lot of people don’t notice how funny they look when they’re taking pictures,” Dickerson said. “But while we were in Germany, all the places we were at were really touristy and everyone had their cameras out. I wanted to capture that kind of funny situation of a picture of someone taking a picture.

“I had to be really sneaky and fast to get my pictures,” Dickerson said. “I kind of developed this photographer’s sixth sense where I would just know right when a good photo moment was about to happen.”

“I think all photographers think in pictures,” Hansen said.

The FOTOSOMMER exhibit will be on display Oct. 1-12, in FAV 102, Fine Arts Center, Utah State University.


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