PHOTOGRAPHERS JOIN ART COLONY
The close association of artists and photographers is the basis of a unique new school operated by Chicago Art Institute.
AN experiment that is loaded with possibilities is being put through its proving paces by the Art Institute of Chicago. The first step was taken last summer when photographic classes were included in The Summer School of Painting at Saugatuck, Michigan. The mixing of the activities of photographers and painters was a significant and revolutionary step forward, particularly so since the relationship of the two fields of art expression has long been a controversial subject.
Photography, claim most painters, is not art but the mere mechanical recording of things which anyone can accomplish. They maintain that clicking a shutter is a far cry from art.
Photographers, on the other hand, state that all photographs are not art by any means; and that, similarly, any and all products of the brush are not art by any stretch of the imagination. The final result is the measuring rod to determine whether or not a picture, regardless of the media by which it was produced, is classed as art and the maker an artist. Through the liaison between painters and photographers at The Summer School of Painting it is becoming more apparent to all concerned, and to the rest of the world, that the two groups are working with and interested in similar ideas and have much in common.
The photographic classes were started under the direction of Don Loving, A.R. P.S., in the firm conviction that natural light offers a challenge to photographers which should not be overlooked. The idea of photographers and painters working together further enhanced the possibilities for creative work to the mutual benefit of both.
This summer, during the month of August, the second season of the unconventional association will swing into action. Not only are photographic viewpoints advocated and proved, but the photographic students are situated in an atmosphere of creative art expression, technique, and theory, with artists busy in all directions.
The environment is one that is inspiring in every respect. Beach, dunes, forests, figure models, weathered textures, local character models—all presented in the light of the summer sun to test and instruct photographers in working with nature’s light.
There is a general assignment every morning. Portraiture, landscapes, figure models, texture, design, native life, all find their way into the carefully planned work. No advantages are overlooked, no opportunities allowed to escape.
Luncheon is followed by an hour’s lecture on photographic techniques, interspersed with informal questions and answers. Following this the afternoons are given to developing and printing.
On Saturdays the week’s work is assembled for criticism, appreciation, and constructive comment by resident and guest instructors. A surprising unity of purpose between painters and photographers emerges. It becomes apparent that all have been intrigued by similar ideas and have found comparable viewpoints. Photographers find many things in paintings, water colors, and drawings which they can turn to advantage, and painters find things of value in photographs.
The exclusive use of sunlight, the influence exerted by environment and association, are producing results that are interesting and significant.—|s