Kickstarter-Started, among other things

The cabin I’ll be staying in for my residency this summer.

Once again it has been entirely too long since my last post, almost 2 months to be exact. As usual, lots has been keeping me busy since then and I guess I’ll give a general update to keep you in the loop.

I had the cool opportunity to give a presentation for the 2015 Faculty eLearning Conference, talking about my experience and recommendations for developing one’s first online class. It was my first experience being on a panel like that and it was lots of fun.

2015 Faculty eLearning Conference

In May I finished up my first semester of teaching Art Appreciation at Burlington County College. It was, of course, a much different experience than what I’ve been used to in photography studio classes I’ve been teaching, but it was a good experience. Good enough, in fact, that I’m scheduled to be teaching it again in in the Fall (friday nights, for anyone who’s interested). I’ll also be teaching a section of Photo 1 at BCC this Fall, in addition to working on developing a new class for their photography program.

And now for my biggest news…..

You may already be aware that I was selected for a residency this summer for Rocky Mountain National Park’s Centennial Celebration. And now I have officially launched a Kickstarter campaign to help cover the costs. The residency includes a free stay at a historical cabin inside the park, but I’ve still got to cover travel and art production costs. So, go to my Kickstarter page to learn more about what I’ll be doing for the residency and consider backing me for some pretty awesome rewards. And of course, I’d appreciate you sharing my project with anyone you think may be interested.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/benpanter/rocky-mountain-national-park-artist-residency/widget/video.html

Many Updates for 2015

It has occurred to me that if I were more faithful in contributing to my blog, each post wouldn’t have to be so epic in scope. And yet, somehow it is always so difficult to find time for such a simple thing.
Well, at any rate, it has been entirely too long since I’ve posted anything, and as a result, there are many exciting things that have happened in my art career that need documenting.

First, I was a teaching artist in another residency in Camden over the winter. My previous residency there was extremely positive and rewarding. This time there were many more challenges involved, but towards the end I was able to hit my stride in the after school program and I felt like I was really contributing to the program and to the kids’ lives.

Snowflakes made by paper casting
Zentangle landscape

Second, I have now officially developed my first online class for Rutgers. It is called The Contemporary Photographer, and focuses on contemporary photographic practice, critical issues, and image making. The development is finished, so now it is listed as a summer session class. I’m not %100 certain it will get enough students to run because it was listed very late compared to other classes, but I got the bulk of the work done at least, so now I’ll just have to wait until it gets offered at a good time. At any rate, it has been a learning experience (I was previously trained in Blackboard, but Rutgers uses Sakai) and I am very thankful for the opportunity.

Third, I have 4 weeks left in my Art Appreciation class at BCC. It has been a lot of work, and teaching a lecture based class is a whole different ball of wax than the studio classes I’m used to, but I’m very glad for the experience and for all that I have learned out of it. (Not only did I have to brush up on my broad view of art history, I have also been incorporating various lecturing and classroom techniques.) I am probably most proud that for one of their projects, they had to go out on first friday in March (braving the cold) and to an analysis and comparison of two works. It was great to see them all down on 2nd and 3rd milling around the galleries and using their classroom skills in the real world.
I’m also excited because I’m already on the schedule to be teaching darkroom 1 again at BCC and hopefully one other class in the Fall.

Finally, the biggest news for my year. In October I had applied to a residency in Rocky Mountain National Park for their centennial celebration, and just a few weeks ago, I got it! It was such a shock to get a call from the National Parks Service in which they congratulated me for being selected. It is such a huge honor. This residency is much different than my experience last year at Artscape Toronto – Gibraltar Point. That residency was much more of an artist retreat, where I could spend time in the studio and sharing my work with the others in residence. This one simply gives me a cabin in the Rocky Mountains for 2 weeks. I will be giving 2 short artist talks at the visitor center and after my time there I will be giving them some of my  work to help promote the park and the AIR program. Other than that, the time is completely mine. I am free to hike, explore and collect resources for my art to my hearts content. I’m so excited, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to dedicate to thinking about or planning much yet. But now that the semester is almost done, I can start laying plans and figuring out what my goals should really be there.

The cabin I will be staying at…. yay!

So that is all for now, at least all that I feel like writing down at the moment. I’ve had some great opportunities this semester and I’m excited about my upcoming ones. It’s proving to be a wild year.

Year’s End Looming

It is absolutely crazy how quickly this semester has gone. It seems like I’ve barely spent any time with my black and white photography students, and suddenly there are only 4 weeks of class left! Not that they (and I) haven’t been working like crazy. I think I just forgot that is how it feels for a once a week class. But I’m proud of the work they’re starting to produce and I think I can expect great things as we gear up to the final project.

I am also excited to announce that I am listed on an Art Appreciation class for the Spring semester at BCC. I’ve never taught a class like this before, so it should be a learning experience. And even though I’m pretty sure I’ll always prefer studio classes, I am looking forward to what that new experience will bring. I am also hopeful that another Black and White Photography class will open up at BCC, and supposedly an online class that I proposed for Rutgers is going to be listed as well. Right now I’ve just started a 6 week online class training course using Blackboard. All this to say, if all of this goes through, I’m up for a busy next semester.

Recently I’ve been putting in a little time towards figuring out where I could apply for my next residency. I’ve been checking out the residencies offered in various national parks across the country and have decided to apply for a few. The first one (which I’ve already submitted) is for Rocky Mountain National Park’s centennial celebration. I’m also considering applying to Mesa Verde and Isle Royale, along with a couple others that seem like they could be a good fit. Wish me luck.

Finally, I’ve recently been in a exhibition with some fellow Moore Alumnae at the MC3 Gallery in Blue Bell, PA. It is an awesome space and I was really excited about being able to show some of the work from my Toronto residency. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the opening, but they’ve sent a few shots that hopefully give a little sense of the gallery and my work.

Mildly Successful

I’ve had a few nice things happen recently that are nice little shots in the arm that make me at least feel like I have at least mild professional success.
First, today I had a phone interview with Moore Magazine, from Moore College of Art and Design. I am to be included in their fall issue which will focus on careers. It is of course an honor to be included (they put out a fantastic publication) but it was especially nice to essentially brag a little about myself. I realized somewhere in the middle of the interview that I’ve had a pretty good year professionally. So good, in fact, that it was hard to keep all of my various pursuits in mind. It’s always nice to be interviewed and actually be excited to share what’s going on. As a side note, I’ve also confirmed that I’m a terrible phone interviewee (I’m a “pacer”, seriously, I probably walked a couple miles), so no promises on the quality of the article that will result, though I have faith in their editors.

You can view past issues of Moore Magazine on their site.

I also am excited because I was hired as an adjunct professor of photography at Burlington County College. I actually just returned home from their new adjunct orientation event. I’ll be teaching Photo 1 in the darkroom (which I have taught before at Camden County College). I’m glad to be back in the college setting after a little break and looking forward to a great semester in the darkroom. What Fun! Now I just have to set up my syllabus and figure out how I’ll organize my semester.

Finally, I was accepted into an exhibition at Yell Gallery. I’ll be showing a piece I made a couple years back but never exhibited. It is always such a positive feeling when your work is accepted, I hope that never gets old (and of course, that it continues)

“Christina”, from the Social Portraits Series