The Arts

Photography Across the Decades at Iowa Hall Art Gallery

By February 20, 2013 November 14th, 2018 No Comments
photography across the decades exhibit

An example from the exhibit

retrospective of images from the past to the present

Different styles, different settings, different equipment, different times.

The upcoming Iowa Hall Art Gallery will showcase photography from longtime Kirkwood Community College Art Instructor Helen Grunewald and many of her former students. The images range from the 1970s and 80s, using color slides and negatives, to modern day photos shot with an iPad.

The photography exhibit runs through March 22, in the Iowa Hall Art Gallery.

Grunewald started teaching photography courses at Kirkwood in 1981. So many of her former students sent photographs for inclusion in the show, that the gallery will extend itself throughout two floors of Nielsen Hall as well.

While students from across the country sent in images, the show will focus on the works of four women from the Corridor: Grunewald, her daughter and two former students from 1987, Brenda Salat and Romona Murrell, all who have remained close friends for decades.

“I struck a friendship with Brenda and Romona when they were my students,” said Grunewald. “They’d come out to my family farm in Blairstown and take photos with my daughter Chloe, who was very young at the time. We’ve all remained friends since then, taken photos together and I say we’re just four ‘camera capture junkies.’ We love taking photos.”

Some of the images in the gallery were taken when Grunewald was in graduate school. She took photos in and around Blairstown that captured the essence of life in a rural community during the 1980s. She used a negative scanner to print the images.

Some of Salat and Murrell’s photos are 1980s color slides of the mannequins in the Armstrong Building. The images of Grunewald’s daughter, Chloe Millward Whitmore, who was also one of her students at Kirkwood, are made with silver dark room prints.

“The four of us use very different styles to create our images,” said Grunewald. “I’ve always tried to teach students that capturing and image is capturing an image, no matter the medium you use. You’ll see with these photographs and those that other students are sending in, there are some really interesting techniques being used, but they all great images in their own right.”

The collection is a sampling of works from different cameras, different eras and different approaches. Photos were shot with everything from 35mm cameras and slide film, to infrared film, Brownie cameras and an iPad.

“We dug through a lot of old negatives. It’s a great chance to take old things and make them new again,” added Grunewald.

A reception will be held Thursday, February 21, at 5 p.m. in the Iowa Hall Art Gallery. The gallery is free and open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 1-2 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.