Passion for Photography

As an antidote to the heat and to the various slings and arrows of outrageous fortune I’ve suffered recently, I’ve been taking great joy in going to the end of course arts presentations at UACJ.The ones I’ve been going to  include music, dance, painting photography etc. and  are being held mostly in either CUDA (Centro Universitario des Artes) or  Teatro Gracia Pasquel on the UACJ campus.

Last night I joined a large crowd at CUDA to see the digital photography exhibition by students of Hogla Liset Olivas. She is a truly wonderful woman who has spent a lot of time  teaching  and photographic techniques to people of all ages as well as doing her own documentation such as a series on life among the Raramuri.

Last night her students  filled two floors as well as the stairwell leading up to the second floor with their photos. Each was in a 16″x 20″ format, and  almost exclusively in color. Although there were no explanatory notes, it seemed obvious they were grouped by certain themes or assignments such as  nature, or silhouettes, or travel, and one could see how each student handled the theme. But  taken as a whole, what I sensed underlying the exhibition was an overriding sense of joy and passion. The photos were extremely well-done but,more than that, one sensed the passion and sense of both  play and commitment by the photographers.

There was no I’ve seen so much I can only be hiply ironic, or what is the market like or I’m going to appropriate someone else’s image and write a long artist’s statement explaining why it’s justified to do that. These students were learning how to use digital photography to best advantage so they can go on to use photography as a means of communication. They are doing it with a sense of purpose and dedication and more power to them.

In addition to the photography, there were student musicians who entertained with jazz throughout the evening and two tables filled with canapes and sandwiches and desserts. Really quite a wonderful evening.

So congratulations to Maestra Hogla Liset Olivas and her students. There are more exhibitions in different media this week and next and it’s always gratifying to see this side of the Juarez community and remember that this is an important part of what makes Juarez the city it is. -david sokolec

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