Student Gems

2023 / I’ve  pushed this group into some uncomfortable territory this year; they’ve had demonstrations by some pretty far-out artists, critiques by Larry Fink, shows at Good Shepherd, Penn State Lehigh Valley, our own Eagle Nest Gallery, etc. I’m really proud of how they’ve risen to the challenge. Each of them is truly amazing to me in such different ways.

I was so proud of the billboards they made; meanwhile, it was the project they liked least when it came to the work they were most proud of. Still, they are incredible! They started by making photographs with a large format camera, then developed and scanned the negatives, edited and toned the images in Adobe Photoshop, built mock-ups, and added text in Adobe Illustrator. Truly a complex project that they mastered. These are by Kaitlyn Shak, Lauren Ressler, Chloe Moore, and Aashi Sohagia.

2022 / We made graphic novel boards in the Graphic Design 1 class. They were 48″ x 96″ and I was blown away by several of them. These are three of the best by Madison Losey, Isabel Rodriguez, and Chloe Moore. They’re detail-oriented, smart, hilarious, and really reflect the personalities of these three amazing women!

2021 / Troy Sabol is making some beautiful images this year with his Mamiya and a 4×5 that we have in the classroom.
More to come… 

2021-2022 was so rough for education, but because of the disconnect and the social distancing I spent a lot more time making projects that focused on the student’s self-perception. Also, there seemed to be a resurgence in records? So, we made album covers that didn’t necessarily have to hold music. Here are a few that I thought were impressive. The first is Brianna Fuller’s, the second is Alayna Rosynek’s, the third is Kaitlyn Shak’s, and the last is Christian Calderon’s.

Over the past few years we’ve been doing some work with the 4×5 that then gets scanned and made into bigger prints than we could traditionally make not only because the quality is so much better, but because it utilizes the best of our analog and digital facilities. These are some examples of student work that I thought was particularly successful. The artists are, from left to right, Kylie Stocklinski, Eric Evelhoch, Millie Dougherty, and Anthony Cerino.

2019 / Leah Hopf.

What a human. Here she is putting up her mural in the school. The Graphic Design II class has done about a dozen of these throughout the high school.

Here are a few of the many others… 

2018 / One of the most brilliant artists I’ve worked with who thought they were anything but brilliant was Lane Steigerwalt. She had a body of self-portraits that were stunning. Here are a couple of shots of those.

2018 / Sam Burns. I’ve never had a student go after a project with such enthusiasm and energy as she went after this movie about love. She interviewed dozens (maybe hundreds?) of people to make this documentary, made a logo and merch, had a real film premiere, etc. It lives on as one of the most astonishing feats of diligence, creativity, and determination that I’ve seen at Nazareth Area High School.

2017 / Some portraits that I thought came out pretty well in our Photo II class. The models are Margaret Moninghoff, Mary Fuentes, and Faith Mitchell.

A family photo of our small Photo Studio III class.

2015 / I should have an entire gallery of Emily Kohler’s work from this time, but her Art Show display was so impressive that I don’t think I remembered to take individual shots of her work. Even this isn’t a good set of pictures because the display was covered with images on the back and front and in a book and projected and so on. I think I figured she had over 1,200 photographs in the show that year. The most prolific artist I’ve ever worked with = Emily.

2011 / An energetic group trying to find where Walker Evans stood when he was photographing Bethlehem Steel.

2011 / Sean Roberts has made so many things since this and I’m sure he likes his newer, more professional work even more, but I thought these were signs that he was going to be a hilarious photographer / designer.

Both of these artists have done so much more work than what I’m showing here, but this display of work by Zach Hartzell and Olivia Wolfe was probably the best I’ve ever seen in a public school gymnasium. They truly made it feel like the viewer was walking around a gallery wall even though there was a basketball hoop just feet about the display.

2010 / This is some of the weird fun we have had using our darkroom when we don’t use it as an actual darkroom–which is most of the time. It’s a loose version of whisper down the lane, only it’s with movement.

Michelle and Kathleen Bezik were both remarkable students, but I only have evidence of Michelle’s work in a still photograph. This is a book and cyanotype collaboration she did.

Faye Lukas did a wonderful cyanotype collaboration, too, and as I’ve been thinking back to her work it occurs to me that she was often working with natural objects in and on her photography.

Reba Price circa 2009? She made so many other incredible pieces of artwork, but this is a studio shot I have evidence of and wanted to include. The models are Emma Pilker and Dylan Pittenger.

2008 / Of the many trips I’ve taken with students, this still feels like the most bizarre of them. We went to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I had been teaching for 6 years. I wasn’t even 30 and I was traveling with 20+ students in these places. It’s hilarious to think about now. They were amazing. We had an adventure together and I think we all had other adventures within the larger one that has stuck with each of us.

Best to watch this small because the file had to be rather small to fit on Vimeo.

Max Schneider was a German exchange student who I only had in Photo Studio I, but he made one of the best contact sheets I’ve ever seen.

Another exchange student, Flore De Baets ended up being the queen of pinhole photography.

2003 / Lauren Fatzinger is probably the student that still challenges my thinking in 2023 after having worked with her 20 years ago. What a mind. What a creative genius. This is the tiniest bit of what she did while we worked together making photography and site-specific installation art. In 2003 she was scanning her entire body, making a 14′ tall tree with over 100 perfectly-printed, hilarious prints of the imagined day-in-the-life of an orange, a desk in and on which she grew grass, and an entire display of other work that she made just for fun (and maybe for the sake of a project or two). Totally amazing.

I wish I had more of Erin Gordon’s work scanned. We worked together one of my first year’s teaching (maybe 2002-2003?) and I thought her work was so captivating and thoughtful. Here is just one of her color prints that I thought would be a perfect final entry for this page.