A Different Perspective: Personal Projects by Veterans
The Colorado Photographic Arts Center has recently opened the exhibition, A Different Perspective: Personal Projects by Veterans that runs through February 11th, 2023. CPAC has created an important and empowering program that supports and inspires artists who have served in the U.S. military. This unique exhibition is the culmination of CPAC’s Veterans Workshop Series, a five-month program of advanced photography courses provided to participants free of charge. Each project is intensely personal, reflecting each artist’s inspirations, life experiences, creativity and point of view.
A Different Perspective ⁄ Personal Projects by Veterans features a compelling collection of fine art photography created by 5 Denver-area artists who have served in the U.S. military. This unique exhibition is the culmination of CPAC’s Veterans Workshop Series, a five-month program of advanced photography courses provided to participants free of charge. Each project is intensely personal, reflecting each artist’s inspirations, life experiences, creativity and point of view.
Launched in August 2017, the Veterans Workshop Series gives local veterans with a passion for photography access to advanced photographic education free of charge.
Over a span of five months, participants learn to refine technical skills, hone ideas into a body of work, create a portfolio, write about their work, and present their projects to the community through an exhibition at CPAC.
Each artist was asked to consider a personal project and to explore a narrative that goes beyond a single frame. The exhibition represents a broad range of subject matter because each project is a deeply personal expression of the individual. For example, Eleanor Nesim uses photography to document the reasons why women, from a variety of backgrounds, have chosen to serve in the U.S. military and how they are often rarely encouraged to enlist. Keal Vigil captures dogs on the go in his area and through his image making has learned more about the playful dog community. As a mentor to the artists throughout this rigorous program, I have seen tremendous growth and development of each artist’s project. It has been my honor to work closely with them, hear their stories, and try to see the world through their eyes. –Samantha Johnston, Executive Director of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center
Follow CPAC on Instagram: @cpacphoto
Exhibiting Artists are Rich Cancellare, Maggie Cubbler, Aaron Middleton, Eleanor Nesim, and Keal Vigil.
The program includes training in digital editing software; composition, lighting, and design; marketing; portfolio development; preparing for an exhibition; and much more. Courses are taught by established artists and leaders in Denver’s photography community. The program was developed in partnership with local veteran-led organizations including Art of War Project and Task Force ISO.
After completing the program, students can enter the professional fine art photography world, develop a photographic business, or further their artistic practice at an advanced level. Graduates have gone on to sell work, attend professional portfolio reviews, and exhibit at local galleries.
How the program started:
The 2022 Series was the 6th year of this project. CPAC launched the Veterans Workshop Series in 2017. This program, is unique to the Rocky Mountain region. While local academic institutions offer advanced photography degrees, they are expensive, impractical for those with day jobs, and can be daunting for veterans with mental or physical disabilities. The Veterans Workshop Series was designed with input from local Veteran-led organizations that remain involved in the program, and CPAC continues to expand its connections to the Veterans community.
Most importantly – graduates are invited to stay involved with the program after it ends by attending alumni events, connecting with alumni through a private Facebook group moderated by CPAC, and participating in project critiques. Veterans are encouraged to engage in Denver’s broader arts community by becoming CPAC members, submitting to calls for entry, and participating in important career development opportunities such as CPAC exhibits and the Month of Photography Denver festival.
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