Imagine being a student in the St. Edward’s University Photocommunications program and taking a course designed to explore and document the unique culture that is Texas high school football: photographing the communities, boosters, mascots, cheerleaders, bands, drill teams, football players, locker rooms and stadiums, coaches, and much more.
Now imagine knowing that the photographs you take will be exhibited at one of the premier public museums in Texas — The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas.
This semester, a group of dedicated Photocommunications majors is doing just that. They’re learning to be better photographers while experiencing first-hand how art professionals interact and work with curators, museums and the public. It is, by design, as “real world” as you can get.
The student projects are linked to Texas High School Football: More Than the Game, the first major exhibition to examine the history and social importance of high school football. The exhibition will open at the Bullock in July 2011, and run through January 2012. Author Joe Nick Patoski will be the guest curator for the museum’s exhibit.
In September 2011, in conjunction with More Than the Game, a Photocommunications Student Exhibition will premiere at the Bullock. There will be a public event in the Texas Spirit Theater, followed by the show opening and reception. The keynote speaker will be Rice University Professor of Photography Geoff Winningham, the author ofRites of Fall. Published in 1979, Rites of Fall is the first book to document Texas high school football. It is considered by many to be a classic of black/white documentary photography. The event, and exhibition reception, will be open to the entire St. Edward’s community, friends, family and the public.
The Photocommunications program, one of the best undergraduate photography programs in the nation, is dedicated to producing the next generation of exceptionally well-trained and successful photographers. Next spring, Professor Joseph Vitone will teach a social documentary course that will give students an opportunity to submit their work to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Stay tuned! More great learning opportunities are already being planned.
–Bill Kennedy, associate professor of Photocommunications in the School of Humanities