Trisha Holt, 2012
Trisha Holt, 2012
Sarah Blanchette, 2017
Sarah Blanchette, 2017
Sheida Soleimani, 2015
Sheida Soleimani, 2015

Photography

Department Philosophy

Jova Lynne, Visions of Paradise, 2017

Department Philosophy

Department Philosophy

Photography is a rich and contested field with uncertain boundaries.

It has never been one medium, but several adjacent media with roots in both the arts and sciences. Practiced by professionals and amateurs alike, photography is foundational to our social and political lives. At Cranbrook, we embrace this history and use it as common ground for makers of all kinds to explore how technical images mediate our experience of the world. Our commitment to thinking through making supports an experiential approach to photography as a medium for physical and social engagement.

Ethos

Ricky Weaver, 2018

Ethos

Ethos

The Photography Department is a place where theory and dialogue feed practice.

Our program is structured to promote self-directed investigation and participatory learning. To fuel discovery and ensure our diversity enriches the experience for all, we prioritize students’ unique experiences and empower them to take charge of dialogue, of creating and sharing content, of bringing their histories to the conversation. The result, in the best case, is a learning environment that fosters autonomy – that asks a lot, but in a supportive context – ensuring that students are not isolated from the full consequence of art making and critical thought.

Program

Megan Kelley, 2017

Program

Program

Dialogue, participation, and investigation thrive in community. Our shared experiences, from critiques to meals, create space for collaborative growth.

Questioning is central to our approach to learning. We begin every week with a question and answer session. Students bring questions to the group, and together we work to answer them based on our experiences. We seek a vulnerable space in which no topic, no matter how taboo or embarrassing, should go unexamined.

We tailor critique to the needs and goals of individuals. We dedicate time at the start of each year to investigate the concept of critique together, and we honor each student’s wishes regarding how we will conduct critique for their practice.

Second-year graduate students curate the fall visiting artists series. This is an opportunity to bring artists they admire into their studios, to expand their research agendas through real-world encounters, and to develop skills important to maintaining an independent studio practice.

At the heart of our community-building project is our weekly meal. It is not enough debate and critique. To be a supportive community, we take time to get to know each other. We eat together and enjoy each others’ company.

Chris Cox, Future Research (revisited), 2016

Facilities

Each MFA candidate is awarded a studio space. Cranbrook Photography houses both a digital lab and traditional darkrooms. The digital lab workspace includes iMacs equipped with the latest version of the Adobe Creative Suite, an Epson 10000XL flatbed scanner for opaque and transparent media, and an Epson P20000 large-format printer running Caldera RIP software. The Photography department offers students the use of a Mamiya Leaf Credo digital medium format camera with 80 megapixels for both studio and field work. The lighting studio is fully equipped with Profoto strobes with various sized light modifiers, stands, and backdrops. The Central Media Lab houses a studio with infinity walls, and provides additional digital cameras, lights, and sound equipment for check out.​

Student Work

Student Work
Antonia Stoyanovich, Her Own Rodeo, 2020
Student Work
Sarah Thomas, Color Bunch, 2020
Student Work
Ashley Beatty, Fuck It Let It All Burn, 2019
Student Work
Jerika Tillman, Ludic Loop, 2019
Student Work
Jarvi Kononen, 2018
Student Work
Vincent Marcinelli, Trophy Son, 2018
Student Work
Anna E. Young, 2017
Student Work
Harrison Moenich, 2016
Student Work
Sheida Soleimani, 2015
Student Work
Ryan Debolski, 2014
Student Work
Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen, 2014
Student Work
Travis Hocutt, 2014
Student Work
Clare Gatto, Pinkscape (from Second Skins)
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Within the Department, you are part of a community dedicated to growth. Every action builds to making you a better artist – creating spaces of openness and trust, empowering your choices, and strengthening your studio practice.

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