It’s been a picture perfect start of the year for Louisiana Tech’s photography program.
Multiple Tech photography students have been awarded travel scholarships to attend the Society for Photographic Education’s national conference in Dallas, which runs from March 26-29.

Photography undergraduates Lauren Quinn Ward of Simsboro and Ashley Matthews of Pineville will both receive $500 from SPE’s south central region.

Graduate student Andy Bloxham of Eros will receive $20 from the south central region in addition to the $500 SPE Student Award he is being awarded from the national headquarters in Ohio.

Tech’s photography talent hasn’t only garnered awards, their work will be printed for posterity, too. Photography Area Coordinator Frank Hamrick, Bloxham and Ward will have their work published in issue 15 of Creative Quarterly Magazine. Bloxham will also will have his photography published in the 2009 Best of College Photography Annual, as will undergraduate photography major Ashley Matthews.

Hamrick and fellow assistant professor Jay Gould were both published in the catalog for the sixth Photographic Image Biennial Exhibition at East Carolina University.

“This is great news for these students and the photography program here at Tech,” Hamrick said. “It serves as an example to our other students that you can get recognized for your work if you put yourself out there and apply to these opportunities. I am especially proud of Andy Bloxham for being recognized at the national level. These awards are usually given to students from schools like Columbia and Yale. So it is quite an accomplishment for a Tech student to receive this acknowledgement.

“Another thing we have going for us this year is that the conference is in Dallas. Last year it was in Denver and next year I believe it will be in Philadelphia. We usually have only a couple of students who can afford to travel to these conferences, but this year I expect ten or twelve students to attend since it is close to us. They will meet students and professors from other programs, allowing our students to see what other photographers are doing and think about graduate schools and careers they might consider in the future. It also gives the students a chance to network and create a community outside of Ruston. Last year we had three students go to the national conference and two of them got to work that summer at the Maine Photographic Workshops on the coast of Maine. Not a bad way to spend your summer.”

The photography program has been also been busy exhibiting their pictures.
Hamrick’s work will be included in the upcoming 20x20x20 Exhibition at Louisiana State University while Bloxham has work in the exhibition Guilty Pleasures at Projects Gallery in Philadelphia, Pa., which was juried by Helen Meyrick, and Vision/Verse at the Gibson Barham Gallery in Lake Charles, which was juried by Erica McCreedy.

Written by T. Scott Boatright