Indelible flashes of history

WITNESS TO HISTORY - Monarchs can get up close to some of the most iconic moments in photojournalism at the campus Art Gallery, "Newsworthy (Photographs Making History)." The exhibit opened with a panel discussion Oct. 15.Belen Campirano / Valley Star

WITNESS TO HISTORY – Monarchs can get up close to some of the most iconic moments in photojournalism at the campus Art Gallery, “Newsworthy (Photographs Making History).” The exhibit opened with a panel discussion Oct. 15.

ART GALLERY: Photojournalism at its most iconic is on display at the Art Gallery.

By Arthur Garakyants, Contributor to the Star 

Visitors to the Valley College Art Gallery have a chance to see a snap shot of history through the lens of photojournalists when they visit  “Newsworthy (Photographs Making History).” 

The collection of some of the most iconic moments in photojournalism is strong on the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War and the Kennedys. The 40-photograph display reminds viewers of 70 years of world history, from the 1920s to the 1990s, and will be in the Art Gallery until Dec. 17.

The photographs represent around 27 photographers, including a portrait of Rosa Parks donated by  Valley Professor of Photography Roderick Lyons. Framed in a back wall is the illegal capture of Ruth Snyder’s execution, shot by Tom Howard, who wired a camera strapped to his ankle. These 4 x 5 shots are graphic but they communicate human issues, whether it’s racism, war or fatherhood.

According to the exhibit’s literature, “photojournalism emerged as a significant genre of photography in the late 1920s and early 1930s. This practice represented picture making that was candid and unrehearsed, documenting historical events and people on film for publication in magazines and newspapers.”

The gallery opened with a panel discussion that included Dennis Reed (former dean of arts and professor of art), Stephen White (independent curator of photography) and Lyons on Oct. 15. Photographs from the exhibit were put on a large screen. Reed compared the indelible Depression-Era image “Migrant Mother” by Dorothea Lange to Michelangelo’s “Madonna and Child.”

Lyons said of the black-and-white photographs, “This is really simplistic but essentially I believe this is true: If you look at a color image of an apple tree you’re probably gonna move on, right? Because all that is familiar to you, but a monochrome picture is abstract by nature and so you have to look deeper into it and get meaning out of it instead of ‘Oh, the apple is red.’ ”

 

 

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