Tag Archives: photography

MFA Photography Alum Finds Beauty in the Ordinary

By Ernesto Rivera, Editorial Assistant—Public Affairs and Publications

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A photo from “Out of the Ordinary,” a series that comments on the spaces people occupy.

When Adria Davis was in high school, her uncle, a professional sports photographer, took her on assignment to the Women’s World Cup in Los Angeles in 1999. It was that moment, photographing superstar strikers like Mia Hamm, she told herself, “this is what I want to do.”

Years later, she joined the three-year masters of fine art program with a focus in photography at CSU, Chico. Davis was grateful to be able to completely focus and develop her art for three years, an opportunity she knows she may never have again.

A studio selfie of Davis.
A studio selfie of Davis.

“It was the first time in my entire academic career that I truly felt challenged,” she said. “You make art and it forces you to really think about why you’re making it or what’s the concept that you’re working with. It really develops your ideas.”

Davis, who graduated in the spring and also has a BA in art from CSU, Chico, spent much of the three years in the program developing her culminating exhibition, “Out of the Ordinary.”

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Davis’ series premiered at the University Art Gallery on March 23.

For her exhibit, Davis filled up her gas tank and drove all around Butte County to tell the stories of people’s homes and the spaces they occupy. Although no one appears in the series, the photographs are all about people and their personalities shown through their homes.

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“My photographic practice is reminiscent of when I was a child, looking out the backseat window, while my parents discussed different stucco choices, paint colors and architectural styles of homes,” Davis wrote in her artist’s statement. “These photographs are direct responses to my environment. I am fascinated by the interplay of where public space meets private space. At that point, you begin to see how these places become portraits of the people who inhabit them.”

While Davis’ influences such as Walker Evans, Robert Adams and Henry Wessel are prevalent in “Out of the Ordinary,” she also found guidance in photography professor Tom Patton, who guided her throughout MFA program and culminating exhibition with critiques and honest questions.

“I appreciated his guidance because it distanced me from it being a personal experience,” she said. “Instead of it being an emotional experience of me presenting my personal work, he would help me develop the idea and really asked me ‘why are you doing this?'”

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Every photo from “Out of the Ordinary” was taken in Butte County.

The guidance Patton gave her wasn’t just with her photography, he was instrumental in guiding Davis when she was  brought into the department to teach film and digital photography classes while she finished her degree, a unique opportunity for MFA students. While Davis loved teaching digital photography because of  the what-seems-endless options digital provides, Davis admires film photography because of its magic and history.

“It’s one thing to print off your piece from a printer but it’s so different when you’re in the darkroom and the very first time you print and see your image develop right in front of you is so amazing,” she said.

To view more of Davis’ photos, visit http://www.adriadavis.com/

Fall Cover Photo Contest: Fall-ing in love with Chico

coverphoto13contestWhat:
Help us choose CSU, Chico’s Facebook cover photo! Share your photos, and then help select from our favorites to be the next California State University, Chico Facebook page cover photo.

Guidelines:
Photos should show off the best of Chico State and the Chico experience. Take photos of our beautiful campus in all its fall glory or your student club hard at work—or make a creative collage of campus scenes. All photos should represent your own work, be in good taste, and comply with the Chico State Social Media Comment Policy.

Photos need to be large enough to work for a Facebook cover photo (851p x 315p, file sizes of 1 to 2MB work well). Most current smartphone camera photos are OK. (Sorry, Instagramers—most Instagram images won’t have high enough resolution when cropped and enlarged to Facebook cover size.)

You may submit up to three photos.

How to Enter:
Share your photo(s) with us in one of three easy ways!

  1. Post it to our Facebook Timeline. Put “cover contest” or “photo contest” in the comment
  2. Tweet it to us by tagging @ChicoState and including #photocontest.
  3. Email your photo as an attachment to PAintern1@csuchico.edu. Include “cover contest” or “photo contest” in the subject line.

Selection Process:
Share your photos with us by Weds., Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. The Chico State social media team will select finalists to be featured in a photo album posted on our page Thurs., Nov. 7. The photographers’ names will accompany the photos, so brag to your friends and encourage them to “like” your entry if you’re featured. The photo within the album with the most “likes” by Thurs., Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. will become the next CSU, Chico Facebook cover photo!

Note: This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook Inc. Any and all information provided with your submission is to California State University, Chico and not to Facebook.

Behind the Lens (of a Smartphone)

Earlier this year, we announced the launch of the official Chico State Instagram account (@ChicoState), and it’s taken off like a rocket. There is so much beauty on campus and around town, and the photo sharing app gives us an opportunity to capture it at a moment’s notice and broadcast to all our students, alumni and friends. But since our Public Affairs staff and intern can’t be everywhere at once, we’ve enlisted the help of two special contributors.

Meet Michael Alonzo and Frank Rebelo!

Michael Alonzo shying away from the camera.

Michael (@mealonzo) is the supervisor of grounds and landscape for CSU, Chico. He graduated from Chico State in 2008, with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, option in plant science. He has worked in the golf and landscape industry since 1996, which brought him full-circle to the Facilities Management and Services (FMS) department at Chico State.

Frank Rebelo planning his next Instagram photo.Frank (@frankrebelo) graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences, option in atmospheric science. He began using Instagram for fun and for his position at The Orion, which led him to start an unofficial Chico State account as a side project to show past, present and future students our beautiful campus.

We sat down with Michael and Frank for a few minutes to get to know them better.

What interests you most about taking pictures?

Michael Alonzo: First, a lot of people walk around with their faces glued to their phones /devices who end up missing all the neat stuff that is around them, just right there in front of their distracted faces (something I am also guilty of). I find it fun to take a picture of the ordinary, shot from a not-so-ordinary angle or vantage point, and share it with those who would otherwise walk right by it. Secondly, I have always been drawn to art. Going back to the days of finger-painting, I always had to have some sort of artistic outlet in order to stay sane. Frank Rebelo captures the Holi Festival of ColorsTaking and sharing photos with the Instagram community has become one of my favorite outlets.

Frank Rebelo: Through photography, I can capture moments that may be either too small or too fast for someone to normally notice, and by sharing the final photo, I can hopefully elicit the same emotion I experienced when it happened.

What is most fun or interesting about photographing Chico State?

MA: I find the historic features of Chico State fun to photograph, as well as the inner-workings of the facilities that FMS is responsible for. I have been given a unique campus viewpoint. I try and relate our work here to the folks who work at Disneyland, where our behind-the-scenes work keeps the show running on a daily basis.

FR: The best part about photographing Chico State is that it gives me total artistic freedom. It challenges me to find something new or overlooked about the campus that I can show – and hopefully surprise – someone.

What is your preferred way of taking photographs—film, a digital camera, on your phone?

Michael Alonzo takes in the flame statue in Alumni Glen.MA: My favorite way to take photographs is with a digital SLR, but my go-to camera is my iPhone. The candid nature and gritty feel of a camera phone is hard to beat sometimes.

FR:I prefer taking pictures with my DSLR, although, my iPhone 4S challenges me to use something that everyone has in a new way to capture something different.

What is your favorite Instagram filter?

MA:I usually edit all my photos with one of several apps or even stack several apps on top of each other to get the picture I see with my mind’s eye. My favorite mobile apps are Snapseed, Noir and ColorSplash.

FR: I do not particularly like using filters, though I might use Mayfair, or the faux HDR, to help achieve the look or feel that I am looking for.

Which Chico State Instagram photo you’ve taken do you like the best? What do you like about it?

Big Chico CreekMA:My favorite Instagram photo is the first one I posted for the official feed. It is a serene picture of Big Chico Creek, as is winds past Selvester’s. I was almost standing in the water under the Gus Manolis bridge. I took that photo with a digital SLR and did all the editing on my phone. I was there between classes, so there was no one around, no one making a sound and only faint ripples can be seen on the water.

First Street PromenadeFR: My favorite photo is from Feb. 7, 2013. It is a photo looking past the PAC looking down [the First Street Promenade]. To me, it almost looks ethereal. During a break in some rainy weather, we got some much needed sun. I hope that people who saw my photo, stopped to take a moment between classes and admire our campus.

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Check out Michael and Frank’s photos and keep in touch with the University scene by following @ChicoState on Instagram.

Facebook Cover Photo Challenge!

We want to put your photo here!
We want to put your photo here!

What:
Help us choose CSU, Chico’s Facebook cover photo! Share your photos, and then help select from our favorites to be the next California State University, Chico Facebook page cover photo.

Guidelines:
Photos should show off the best of Chico State and the Chico experience. Take photos of our beautiful campus in all its spring glory or your student club hard at work—or make a creative collage of campus scenes. All photos should represent your own work, be in good taste, and comply with the Chico State Social Media Comment Policy.

Photos need to be large enough to work for a Facebook cover photo (851p x 315p, file sizes of 1 to 2MB work well). Most current smartphone camera photos are OK. (Sorry, Instagramers—most Instagram images won’t have high enough resolution when cropped and enlarged to Facebook cover size.)

You may submit up to three photos.

How to Enter:
Share your photo(s) with us in one of three easy ways!

  1. Post it to our Facebook Timeline. Put “cover challenge” or “photo challenge” in the comment
  2. Tweet it to us by tagging @ChicoState and including #coverchallenge or #photochallenge.
  3. Email your photo as an attachment to PAintern1[at]csuchico.edu. Include “cover challenge” or “photo challenge” in the subject line.

Selection Process:
Share your photos with us by Monday, April 15, 2013, at 5 p.m. The Chico State social media team will select up to 10 photos to be featured in a photo album posted on our page Wednesday, April 17. The photographers’ names will accompany the photos, so feel free to brag to your friends if you’re featured. The photo within the album with the most “likes” by Wednesday, April 24, at 5 p.m. will become the next CSU, Chico Facebook cover photo!

Note: This challenge is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or administered by, or associated with Facebook Inc. Any and all information provided with your submission is to California State University, Chico and not to Facebook.