“Reflections of Flagstaff” set to showcase student photographs

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“Reflections of Flagstaff: A Student-Curated Exhibit” aims to showcase Flagstaff through the photographs and experiences of students.

The Hooper Undergraduate Research Award made the exhibit possible, because the award committee sought more humanities-related projects.

Senior Art History major Margaret Sheble sets up the Reflections of Flagstaff student photography exhibit in the Beasley Art Gallery on March 2. (Photo by Kelli Tresgallo)

Senior Art History major Margaret Sheble sets up the Reflections of Flagstaff student photography exhibit in the Beasley Art Gallery on March 2. (Photo by Kelli Tresgallo)

“This couldn’t have been possible without them; all of our funding was from the Hooper Undergraduate Research Award,” said Margaret Sheble, a senior art history major and student curator for the show. “I talked to my adviser and a couple of my friends and fellow art history students and we came up with the exhibit and we really wanted it to be interactive so that’s why we asked for students to submit photographs.”

The exhibit feature 74 student-produced images coming from varying majors including photography, advertising, biology and many others, in addition to 78 images from the special collections archive at Cline Library. The student curators wanted the gallery to be all-inclusive and to reflect what the town means to students.

The images fit into several categorical locations, from some of the natural hot spots in Flagstaff such as the San Francisco Peaks and Coconino National Forest to the more urban parts of downtown and the NAU campus. The students behind the exhibit chose the locations based on input from students who submitted images.

“We just kind of picked common, popular places in Flagstaff. So, downtown, Route 66, the peaks and put those up and people responded,” said senior art history major and student curator, Erin Carter. “There’s actually a really good mix. The most popular [categories] seem to be downtown and NAU, which was another one of our categories, but we have some good ones from the peaks and Coconino National Forest and stuff like that.”

Wanting the exhibit to be open to all students, all photos that were submitted by students were accepted as long as they had been submitted in time. Eight photographs will be featured in their own space at a larger size.

For senior English major and art history society member Julie Barnas, the exhibit was an exciting opportunity to show the work that she has done.

“I’ve never had photos in an exhibit before . . . and since I’m not involved in the photography or anything as a major so I’m never probably going to have my photos in an exhibit again. [It's] a really cool opportunity; it’s helping out the community, our community here and my friends,” Barnas said.

Along with the contemporary images from students, archival images will be showcased as well as another component of the exhibit and providing historical context.

“Margaret and I both work in special collections so went through some our old exhibits and our old exhibit photos and picked out cool old photographs of NAU from the early 1900s and probably 2000s. It’s a nice little juxtaposition of World War I photographs of the ROTC at NAU to the present day student photographs,” Carter said.

The exhibit opens March 5 and will run until March 29 at the Beasley Art Gallery. A reception will take place March 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free to all.



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