Departures is a juried exhibition that highlights photography by recent graduates of the Daytona State College photography program. This is the thirteenth year that the Southeast Museum of Photography has had the honor of showcasing the work of these recent graduates and it will continue to be a yearly summer event at the museum. Since the program’s inception over 50 years ago, Daytona State College Photography Program graduates have taken their place among the nation’s leading photographers. The program has since grown into one of the largest, most comprehensive commercial photography programs in the Southeastern United States. The challenges of a rapidly changing aesthetic and commercial environment have been met by dynamic programs that stress the fundamental aspects of photography, the highest level of technical proficiency and professional judgment, and give an understanding of the techniques, materials and equipment used in the profession today.
The photography at the Departure’s 2019 exhibition at the Southeast Museum of Photography is excellent. The technical skill is apparent but more importantly a sense of the individual, sympathy, thinking, and commitment to statement is strong. These young professionals are not competing with each other but with the world. Google results will be their fighting arena. They will need and use these decisive voices to rise above a rush of fellow graduates from around the planet. They will need and use new aesthetics and messages to surpass the already established professionals. Furthering their education is an accelerator some will choose to leap ahead. All of these artists have choices and options ahead of them because of their time here.
Photography is not cameras, photoshop, or printer paper. Photography is a testament, a witnessing. Whether in a commercial studio, outside on the street, or looking into the eye of a human being, photography is the journey one human makes in place of the viewer. You, the viewer of this exhibition, have a sense of these colorful rooms and sharp-eyed individuals because of the evidence here presented. Please join me in congratulating these young photographs for the accomplishments on these walls.
My sincere thanks to James Pearson, the Director, and the incredible staff of the Southeast Museum of Photography; to the faculty and staff of the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies; to the families and friends of these students for their support; and to the accomplished students.
(Departures 2019 Juror, Jason Burrell)