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Visiting Artist Series Comes to SHP

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Objects and Photos from the collection of Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey

Visiting Artists Series at SHP
Lucy Newton ‘25, Editor in Chief

Beginning in the latter half of November, Sacred Heart Preparatory will be hosting several distinguished artists on campus, giving students involved in the arts a unique opportunity to converse with professionals in an extraordinary field. Spearheading the upcoming series of visits is Co-Department Head of Fine Arts and photography instructor Ms. Vanessa Woods — who aims to make the event available to all students engrossed in artistic endeavors, additionally placing an emphasis on students currently enrolled in an Advanced Placement, or otherwise advanced, art class.
Woods shares that her intention in the forthcoming months is to “invite one professional artist/artist[ic] team, curator, musician/performer, etc. to present and be in dialogue with [SHP’s] AP/Advanced students, followed by a secondary presentation and Q&A for anyone from the community who is interested.” She articulates that while all students keen to learn more about the visiting artists and their work will be granted the opportunity to participate in the events, such will be compulsory for students enrolled in Woods’ classes, alongside those in Mr. Moshe Quinn’s and Ms. Susannah Emerson’s advanced fine arts courses. Advanced students will participate in an intensive, small group session, allowing the chance for potential critiques and in-depth discussions in the presence of highly experienced artists.
The first occasion of visiting artists will take place on November 29th, with SHP welcoming Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey to present on their experience in the field of vernacular photography collection; the two artists collaboratively formulated the Museum of Unknown Photography, through which they exhibit a “collection of artifacts reveal[ing] a different view of photography and history [with] a focus on objects and images that break out of the familiar photographic frame.” The two creators will be relaying several notable pieces to SHP students within their presentation, accompanied by their “portable cabinet of curiosities” through which they will share a “selection of hand made and embellished photos and objects, accidental art created by camera and film errors and surprising everyday items made special with photography.”
Woods’ ambitions will span beyond the most imminent visit, with the series intended to host an artist or group of collaborators each successive semester, maintaining a “cadence that moves between visual arts and visual or performing arts, so that [the community] can get a broad spectrum [of contributors].” Woods expounds on her intentions regarding the launching series, outlining that she believes the visitors will provide an advantageous perspective for young artists who are “in the nascent stage of figuring out what [being an artist] means and how people have careers in the arts, mak[ing] it their work.” She articulates that “it is informative to understand how people become professional artists in different capacities, and how they hold these roles [while] earn[ing] money.”

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