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By Carrie Click

It’s not every day that a photography student gets a chance to participate in a public art exhibit. For aspiring professional photographers, having work accepted into a gallery show provides a special opportunity.

“A lot of people see what we post to social media,” said Jordan King, a Colorado Mountain College professional photography student. “But there is a certain feeling you get when you see your print hanging on a wall, that I just can’t describe.”

On April 13, King and 17 other photography students will mingle with the public at a reception at the CMC ArtShare Gallery at Morgridge Commons in downtown Glenwood Springs. “Current Works: Students of the Professional Photography Program at the Isaacson School for Communication, Arts and Media” will feature a selection of the students’ strongest images.

Student Jordan King's photo "Rabbit Hole"

“Rabbit Hole” by Isaacson School professional photography student Jordan King.

“This exhibit allows for the student work to be seen by anyone in the community who visits the gallery,” said Derek Johnston, photography professor and program director. “It also is an opportunity for the students to experience what it is like to exhibit their work in a public gallery and to have an opportunity to share and discuss their work with members of the community. It is a real-world experience that cannot be taught in the classroom.”

Variety of genres

For the yearly exhibit, second-year photography students submit a selection of their strongest work, which is discussed and critiqued in class with professors and peers. Together, they select “the highest-quality work with the most impact,” said Johnston.

During the course of the two-year program, students study a wide array of photographic genres. Some may focus on photojournalism, others on sports and adventure. They may be drawn to portraiture or studio work. This spring’s exhibit includes street photography, winter sports shots, portraits, landscapes, conceptual photographs and more.

“The diversity of work that comes out of the program is one of the strongest components,” said Johnston. “This exhibit includes a variety of genres and content. That diversity is something that we like to showcase and celebrate.”

Student Maxine Jablonski's photo, "Crown Fountain."

“Crown Fountain,” by Isaacson School professional photography student Maxine Jablonski.

The fine art of photography comes through in the printing process, when the students prepare prints for the show.

“It is part of the curriculum for our Color Management for Digital Photography class,” Johnston said. “High-end, color-managed inkjet printing is a part of this class. In today’s digitally dominant world, it is great for the students to learn and experience what it takes to make larger-scale, fine-art prints.”

A career in photography

Jordan King’s exhibit photograph, “Rabbit Hole,” reflects his interest in character-driven portraiture. He started taking pictures on disposable cameras during vacations, but never thought he would study photography in school.

After taking a high school film class and studying graphic design, he realized he was drawn to the field. He said he wanted to learn photography “where the focus was more on the how, instead of the why, and that’s how I ended up coming here. After I finish this program,” King said, “I know I will pursue a career in photography.”

The “Current Works” reception runs 6-8 p.m., Friday, April 13, at the CMC ArtShare Gallery at Morgridge Commons, 815 Cooper Ave., 2nd floor, Glenwood Springs. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit will remain on view in the gallery from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, through May 4. For more information, email morgridgecommons@coloradomtn.edu or call 384-8772.