Indiana University Photography Students 10th Annual Alternative Show will feature a collection of portraits celebrating the people who make up the Bloomington community.
The show, which includes the work of the 14 BFA photography students, opens Nov. 30, 7-11 p.m., at Third and Lincoln.
"Everyone is taking 20 photographs of people in the community," says Christina Allegree, who is in her third semester of the B.F.A. program. "There will be around 300 portraits. Last year the show was a community project, but only two people did portraits, so this year we wanted to involve the community more."
Each portrait subject is invited to the show, which will also include the students' personal work.
Ellie Schreiner, who is in her first semester of the BFA program, says she is working on "soft objects. Well, I call them soft objects. They are replicas of candy bars that have sexual overtones."
Allegree is working on a remains project, which evolved into a study of found objects in places that relate to her family.
"In this show alone, we have students working with sculpture, found objects, digital imagery, as well as more traditional photographic methods," said BFA student Mia Beach.
Her work consists of "lightboxes that contain photographs, natural, household, and found objects, and vintage photos and slides."
"Photography is a versatile medium, and I enjoy it because I can
document my experiences in creative ways," says Beach.
To enter the BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) program students must present a portfolio. If accepted they are then expected to take 30 additional credit hours within the School of Fine Arts.
"Most students are in the BFA program for at least three semesters," says Ellie. "Some stay longer. It really depends on how the individual's work develops."
Allegree says she didn't feel ready to graduate. "There were still many things I wanted to learn - how to use ink jet printers, digital photography, and I wanted to take the 3-by-5 class."
Schreiner had a similar experience. "I chose to apply because I felt I wanted more time to focus on photography."
Allegree explains, "Photography is real. It can tell a story and can capture reality but in a way that some people don't see. Five people could take a picture of the same subject and the images could all look different."
This year's is Schreiner's first Alternative show and Allegree's second.
The students are in charge of putting together the entire show, Allegree says.
Schreiner elaborates, "We call it an 'Alternative Show' because we have to work from the ground up, and we have to do everything ourselves. We start from scratch.
"I'm most excited because it's an art show ... because you do all this work to put it together, and everybody comes, and it's like a big party."
Because it is the 10th Anniversary, previous BFA students have submitted self-portraits to be displayed, says Schreiner. There will also be a video of past BFA shows.
Allegree says the show has been a lot of work, and acknowledges that she's looking forward to it being over.
"But the payoff is having the community come and seeing the show, and seeing their reactions," she adds.
Schreiner can't wait.
"Everyone in the program is making really great work, and it's gonna be really exciting to see it up on the walls in the gallery," she says with a smile.
Kathleen Huff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.