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Exhibit Documenting Need for Sustainability Opening at Buffalo State

Exhibit Documenting Need for Sustainability Opening at Buffalo State

Posted: November 29, 2017

A group of Buffalo State photography students captured how consumerism, food consumption, and industrialization have affected local waterways in the upcoming exhibition A Conservation About Conservation: Buffalo State Students Picture Great Lake Sustainability.

The exhibition opens Thursday, November 30, with a reception at 4:30 p.m. in the Atrium Gallery on the first floor of Rockwell Hall. The exhibition, which runs through April 30, 2018, is free and open to the public.

The 16 students who contributed to the exhibition are enrolled in assistant professor of photography Yola Monakhov Stockton’s Immediate Photography II/Advanced Photography course.

“This project marks a new direction for the photography program. It takes the impulse of documentary studies as a tool for exploring topics of social, civic, and personal interest to our students,” said Stockton, who previously worked as a photojournalist for the New Yorker, Harper’s, Le Monde, Marie Claire, Newsweek, the New York Times, Der Stern, and Time. “It also brings students in touch with local, regional, and national institutions, while advancing their storytelling and photography skills.”

Along with photographs and videos featuring images from Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Niagara River, the exhibit includes sculptures and installations highlighting environmental problems, such as a tower of plastic water bottles, a quilt created from hundreds of plastic bags, and a sculpture created out of cigarette butts lifted from local beaches.

“Many of us hail from the Western New York area, with work providing an intimate reflection on a deeply personal location,” said student photographer Carmen Brown. “We also come from the many boroughs of New York City, downstate New York, and one student from Kuwait, showcasing our unique and refreshing perspectives on Buffalo and environmentalism.”

Because this is a service-learning, students collaborated with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and must complete a shore cleanup, tracking all the items found. The students also will share their images and reflections of their work with the alliance to use in promotional materials. To better understand the state of the environment in Western New York, students also toured the Buffalo Water Filtration Plant, the West Side with People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH Buffalo), and the Niagara River with members of the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club.

“This course marks a beginning to our work in the area of documentary studies through photography and related media,” Brown said, “and opens a more intimate exploration of the relationship between our schooling, our lives, and the community.”

For more information, call (716) 878-6032 or visit the Art and Design Department website.

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