The 2015 graduates of the University of Hartford’s MFA Program in Photography are proud to present an exhibition of their recent work and publications. The ten exhibiting artists are Amy Lowey, Arseni Khamzin, Gretchen Sayers, Josée Schryer, Matthew L. Casteel, Nicholas Pollack, Robin Dahlberg, Stefan Schein, Veronica Melendez and Ward Long. Their work encompasses a wide variety of photographic styles and artistic strategies to pursue ideas about desire and loss, fact and fantasy, family and community. Each body of work harnesses the particular potential of the photographic medium to examine the spaces between what could be, what is, and what might have been.
Founded in 2010, Hartford’s MFA Program in Photography is the first graduate art program with a curriculum centered on the intersection of art, documentary practice, and the photobook. Graduates present both a book and an exhibition of their thesis work, and the program demands conceptual rigor, precise editing, formal experimentation, and photographic excellence.
Over the course of two and a half years, the class of 2015 honed their talents through rigorous conversation and critique with top practitioners in the discipline. The program’s faculty includes program director Robert Lyons, Mary Frey, Jörg Colberg and Michael Vahrenwald, and guest artists and critics, including, among others, Alec Soth, Doug Dubois, Hiroh Kikai, Ute Mahler, Alice Rose George, Michael Schäfer, Mark Steinmetz and Thomas Weski.
Published books from the class of 2015 will be on display, and a limited number will be available for purchase.
Amy Lowey is a fine art photographer currently focusing on the parallels between the human condition and the natural world.
Arseni Khamzin is a visual artist based in Montreal, Canada. His work focuses on the objects and conditions that are integral to living in contemporary urban spaces.
Gretchen Sayers is currently based in California. Peridot is a quiet observation of her female friendships.
Born and raised in rural Québec, Canada, Josée Schryer is currently based in Montréal. She received her BFA from Concordia University in Photography and Art History and is a co-founder of the Photobook Club Montréal.
M L Casteel is a human being using the photographic medium to share stories about other human beings.
Nicholas Pollack is based in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to his MFA studies, he earned a BLA in Literature and Photography from Sarah Lawrence College. He published a monograph of his 2016 ICP Infinity Award nominated project, Nothing Gold Can Stay, in the summer of 2015.
Robin Dahlberg’s work explores contemporary corporate culture. Drawing upon her past experiences as a lawyer in a multitude of different corporate environments, Robin examines how corporate values and expectations affect workplace relationships.
“My indifference to man has shut me out. I live now in a world of ghosts, a prisoner in my dreams.”
— Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal.
Veronica Melendez is based out of Washington D.C. She received her BFA in photojournalism from The Corcoran College of Art and Design.
Ward Long is based in Oakland, California. At Hartford, he received both the President’s Award and the Perfect Dummy award. His work focuses on loss, portraiture, and the landscape.