DeVos Museum to hold forum to discuss photo exhibit, history

%E2%80%9CCountry+Doctor%E2%80%9D+%281948%29+by+American+photojournalist+W.+Eugine+Smith+is+one+of+numerous+famous+images+currently+on+display+until+April+1+at+the+%E2%80%9CAperture%3A+Photographs%E2%80%9D+exhibit+at+the+DeVos+Art+Museum+in+the+NMU+Art+and+Design+Building.+

“Country Doctor” (1948) by American photojournalist W. Eugine Smith is one of numerous famous images currently on display until April 1 at the “Aperture: Photographs” exhibit at the DeVos Art Museum in the NMU Art and Design Building.”

Kara Toay

Have you ever wanted to learn about the history of photography and how it has developed?

The DeVos Art Museum will be holding an “Aperture Discussion,” led by Curator of Collections and Outreach Emily Lanctot on Friday, Feb. 9.

The talk is from 2 to 3:30 p.m and will be held in Art and Design room 102. The Aperture Exhibition currently on display at the museum follows the evolution and history of Aperture Foundation, a nonprofit fine art photography institute. The exhibit has traveled from New York City to other cities, Lanctot said.

Lanctot said the museum chose to do the discussion because there are many people on campus that have different ranges of expertise and a different way of seeing imagery.

“Being able to mind each others’ perspectives and ideas on the importance of photography and image-making now seemed like an important thing to do,” Lanctot said. “We have all of these people who have great experience right here on campus.”

Encouraging these open discussions among the community is important to see the range of possible interpretations of how people experience photographs and how photography has changed, Lanctot said.

“A lot of the times the way we experience them is on our screens, so what is it like to experience these images in a way where they aren’t the same size?” Lanctot said.

The discussion will include four panelists, including Lali Khalid, co-founder of Sakura and Lali— The Creative House, which is an art space in Marquette exhibiting local and national artists. Other panelists include professors of English Patricia Killelea and Leslie Larkin and professor of foundations and art history Tracy Wascom. Each panelist has chosen one or two images to research and speak on for about 10 minutes, Lanctot said.
The artists’ photos that Wascom will be examining are those of Vik Muniz and Robert Rauschenberg. Wascom said she is interested in talking about photography as a medium.

Wascom also plans on discussing processes used historically and how they have changed photography as a medium since.

Wascom said that she is excited for the discussion and having a group of people come together to discuss the impact photography has had on culture.

“That’s an obvious thing to say, that photo has an effect, but you think about how embedded photography is in our lives… Photography, or cameras, isn’t this separate object we deliberately seek out anymore,” Wascom said.

Photography has been part of what Wascom has done as a career and said the discussion is an opportunity to talk outside of the classroom. She also added it is a chance to speak about something in a relation to what others think and see what unfolds.

“It’s exciting to have this Aperture Exhibition at Northern Michigan University,” she added. “Aperture is a significant part of the history of photography, to have something, and have work that is curated and collected by an internationally renowned organization actually present in Marquette is not to be dismissed.”