LOCK HAVEN - From iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower to captured moments in the daily lives of Guatemalan people, a wide range of destinations and subjects photographed by students are now on display in Bentley Hall Gallery at Lock Haven University. This marks the third annual International Photography Exhibition, which began in 2009 and is held by the art department on campus with the help of the Fine Arts Society, a student organization.
The exhibition is held during International Education Week, which is a nationwide event that is advocated by the U.S. Departments of State and Education.
This year, International Education Week will be held at Lock Haven from Nov. 2 to 9.
"This is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative is part of efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States," said a press release issued by LHU's Institute for International Studies.
Students on campus were encouraged to submit any kind of work with an international theme; whether it be a photograph from a country outside of the United States or taken by a foreign student within the United States. Furthermore, it can even be a photo of any subject that simply shows culture outside of their own.
As Fine Arts Society members began hanging the photos for the show, FAS President LaKeshia Bauman offered her thoughts on the show's purpose.
"This show is culturally inspired," she said. "We try to make it broad enough that any student can submit."
There were a total of 40 works in the exhibition this year from 9 students.
Each year, the art department attempts to get the artist whose work is on display in Sloan Gallery to judge the exhibition.
The photos this year were judged by photographer Joseph Sorrentino. Sorrentino's show, "Aqui y Alla (Here and There)" was on display at the university until Oct. 26, and was able to judge the show when he came to pick up his work.
Sorrentino discussed his process:
"I usually walk through an exhibit quickly a couple of times, just to see which images have an immediate impact," he said. "There are usually several that stand out and that was the case for this exhibit. I then study the images more closely and narrow down the choices."
Though he's drawn to portraits, since that is what his own work consists of, he does not "rule out photos of structures and landscapes that are atypical."
"It's always difficult to judge another's photograph because it's all so subjective," he said. "The fact that four images were selected as especially good doesn't mean that another photographer wouldn't pick a different set of images. All of the images I selected were visually striking - not the kind of images you can just walk past. They all invite the viewer to spend some time with them and as you do, you discover new things in the image."
Some destinations present in this year's show include Paris, London, Italy, Spain, Guatemala, New York City and more.
"I think the show is really neat," said Michelle Albert, a sophomore majoring in art and studying graphic design. "The different perspectives are really interesting."
Cassie Englert expressed she entered mainly because she is an art major and had photos that qualified.
"It's important for art students to enter shows. We need as much exposure as possible," Englert said.
Art students weren't the only ones who entered. Meagan Arnold, a senior majoring in Spanish and communication, decided to submit photos of her own travels after being encouraged by her Spanish professor, Dolores Lopez.
"I entered the photo competition because I had so many pictures from my time in Guatemala and I wanted to be able to represent and pay tribute to the country that has been so influential in my life," Arnold said.
Her image, titled "Finalmente, Ser Amado (Finally, to be Loved)," depicts a 1-month-old Guatemalan child, weighing about 4 pounds, who was abandoned at a hospital by her mother because her milk did not come in, and as a result, was unable to care for her.
"These images are not just pictures to me," she said. "I remember the families and the sentiments behind taking the pictures. I am hoping that the images will evoke feeling in those who view them and also trigger a desire for some to go and experience visiting the country. It's idealistic, but I really want to encourage others to go and help children and families like the ones in my pictures."
The exhibition is open to the public daily through from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 16.
Winners of the competition were announced at the opening reception Wednesday.