Art Intersection presents the seventh annual Emerge exhibition with works from student photographers enrolled in Arizona high schools, community colleges, art schools, and universities across the state. Clare Benson, a local photographer, interdisciplinary artist and educator, juried this year’s show.
As part of our mission to support emerging artists, we offer student photographers an opportunity to show their work in the North and South Galleries at Art Intersection. In addition to the exhibition, prizes will be awarded for Best in Show, sponsored by Through Each Others Eyes, Best of Post-High School, sponsored by Tempe Camera and Best of High School, sponsored by local patrons Kelly and Dennis Collins. INFOCUS, the Photography Support Group of the Phoenix Art Museum, will award a Student Membership to each of the three winners.
About the Juror
Clare Benson is a photographer and interdisciplinary artist from the United States. Her work has been exhibited and screened throughout the US and internationally. In 2014/2015, she received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in northern Sweden at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics. Other recent awards include the Magenta Foundation Flash Forward, PDN Emerging Photographer, and the Joyce Elaine Grant Solo Show Award.
Benson earned her MFA at University of Arizona in Tucson, and her BFA at Central Michigan University.
I can vividly remember the first photograph I made as a student. Armed with a pinhole camera that I had painted and taped and pin-pricked, I went outside, behind the art building, where sculpture students had their foundry and kilns and scrap materials. There was a plain wooden classroom chair, weathered from rain and sun, that I dragged to the center of the asphalt floor, imagining that it might speak as a symbol of absence and isolation, in the midst of this surreal industrial-looking space. I kneeled to the ground, pulling the piece of electrical tape that covered the aperture of my shoe box camera. I stared into this seemingly simple scene, hoping to absorb the moment in the same way that I understood the camera might. Light and darkness danced through a tiny window and onto the back wall of that miniature room. In the developing tray, I watched an image slowly appear, like a backward-fading memory, or something from a dream. The midday sky was black as night. The shadow of the chair glowed like the sun through thin overcast clouds. The entire space stretched out its long arms, pulling toward the sides of the page, blurring at the very ends, from the frayed edges of aluminum foil. Even when converted to a positive image, the world in this photograph looked nothing like the world that I had seen, but everything like the one that I had felt.
As photographers, and especially as photography students, we are constantly learning to re-see the world, using different techniques, processes, perspectives, and formats. In jurying this exhibition, I searched for moments of surprise and newness, which I remember so well from my years of studying photography. I looked at these images as stripped down fragments—concept, craft, and exploration—all existing on separate planes. Each is developed through learning and practice; sometimes all together, and sometimes in different stages. Some works display elements of all three, while some push farther into one than another, but all of them speak to processes of discovery, and the development of one’s voice as an image-maker.
I am impressed with the caliber and boldness of work by all of the Arizona students who submitted images for this exhibition, and I am grateful for the opportunity to see the world through so many different lenses; grateful to be reminded of the time, long ago, that my own world became animated with new life inside a light-tight shoe box.
Emerge 2017 Sponsors
Thank you to the sponsors of this Emerge exhibition for their support of emerging Arizona student photographers. The acknowledgement of quality and the experience gained when participating in a juried exhibition can vault an emerging photographer to reach their next level of photography.
Overall Best in Show Sponsor
Through Each Others Eyes
Thank you to Through Each Others Eyes for sponsoring the Best in Show prize. Through Each Others Eyes develops exchanges with photographers in other countries for the purpose of documenting photographically a new culture from the viewpoint of an outsider.
Best of Post-High School Sponsor
We thank Tempe Camera for their sponsorship of the Post High School prize. Tempe Camera is an important part of the Arizona photography community and they demonstrate their commitment to emerging photographers through their ongoing support of educational programs.
Best of High School
Dennis and Kelly Collins
Thank you to Dennis and Kelly Collins, both artists and patrons of the arts, for their generous gift.
“After quitting school at sixteen, it wasn’t until I returned for my Bachelors in Fine Arts at forty-five that I realized how important the education I had missed was. I hope this small gift is the catalyst and encouragement for a young artist to pursue their education and passion for their art.” – Dennis Collins
Award to Each Best in Show Artist
INFOCUS, a vibrant support organization of Phoenix Art Museum (PAM), is composed of people actively interested in photography as a dynamic art form. Photographers, collectors, and photography enthusiasts working together enable INFOCUS to provide a high-quality forum for the study, display and production of fine art photographs. A Student Membership will be awarded to each of the three artists receiving a Best in Show award.
Mia Elena Acosta, Amanda Maria Beall, Angelina Benner, Autumn Bibbee-Wright, Emily Bozovich, Alacia Marie Carlisle, Granville Lee Carroll III, Natali Castro, Michael Coomer, Tristan Craig, Jeny Davis, Naomi Jo Davis, Kate Dawes, Kaden Dawson, Kymber Derrick, Joi Dunne Moore, Conor Elliott Fitzgerald, Pam Golden, Willow Greene Smith, Emily Dawn Gross, Trini Guevara, Kyle Erik Gundersen, Josh Gutierrez, Ethan Haddad, Peyton Elizabeth Hathaway, Emilee AnnMarie Haver Steagall, Amy Hector, Adella Helton, Marissa Holmberg, Kaishun Huang945, John Isner, Hao Jiang, John Terry Johnson, Cassidy Johnson, Aiden Josic, Isabella Elise Joy, Jessica Knight, Leif D. Lake, Alyssa Kay Lawson, Claudia Lopez, Olaff Lopez, Kaylee Lund, Ezekiel Johnson Lyman, Hannah Manuelito, Jonathan Marquis, Katelin Mason, Lloyd Matthews, I. Brooks McAllister, Leandra Davey Miller, Madeleine Milner, Jared Moreno, Regan Norton, Natali Olvera, Olivia Parker-Swenson, Danielle McKenna Perkins, Jessica Peters, Emma Phillips, Brooke Pusillo, Ethan Roads, Azalea Patricia Rodriguez, Noah Romney, Travis Samuelson, Stephen Sanchez, Basil Savage, Monique Sherman, Elizabeth Smith, Megan Smith, Noah Smith, Claire Marie Sorensen, Alonzo Soto Granados, Eugene Starobinskiy, Victoria Marie Strandberg, Andraya Elizabeth Straub, Fabioo Thomas, Erin Tucker, Phoebe VanGelder, Lauren Walters, Wang Weian, Willa Grayce Whiting, Landon Wiggs, Bethany Amanda Wilcken, Xana Wilcoxson, Keegan Will, Jennifer Williamson, Brooke Wright, Sam Wynne, James Young
Header image by Mia Elena Acosta