Breaking Ground: Contemporary Photography

Breaking Ground: Contemporary Photography at the College of William & Mary

On this 175th anniversary of the invention of photography, excitement and anticipation are stirring in the Department of Art & Art History at the College of William & Mary as we prepare to break ground on a new photography program, the first in the College's long history. This dynamic new offering will engage students in dialog and practice as they study historic through contemporary developments in photography pushing the boundaries of photographic art making in the 21st century.

Inaugurating this celebration, the College has generously furnished the exhibition Breaking Ground: Contemporary Photography at the College of William & Mary, a collection of photographic artworks by 110 national and international artists, and accompanying catalog. The exhibition relays a sense of the vast breadth of contemporary photographic art with prints, handmade books, video art, assemblage, sculptural works, and installation. The possibilities afforded through the amalgamation of traditional and new technology, techniques, and materials are boundless.

The show's variety is meant to reflect a basic principle of the new photography program - it is a celebration of photography as a liberal art, as an extension of the humanistic and critical discipline of art-making that has always been the foundation of our university. Photography at the College of William and Mary is not solely a technology; it is a vehicle of visual expression with a history of nearly two centuries. Our approach to it will therefore embrace its newest potentials and also grow out of its history, its historical techniques and processes, and its historical achievements, to integrate contemporary and future practices of photographic art at a deep level into William and Mary’s liberal arts tradition. This is what it means to call photography a new way, our newest way, of engaging humanistic thought.

Please join us in celebrating the College of William & Mary's newest contribution.

Exhibition Details:
October 15-31, 2014
Opening Reception: October 17, 4-7 pm
Alumni Reception: October 18, 10am-12pm