Art& Learning to Look: Photography in Practice

Thursday, March 10, 2022,

Virtual; Zoom link available upon registration


Several of the photographers represented in the Tsiaras Collection were instrumental in establishing the first programs dedicated to teaching photography in the United States. For this Art& program, Beth Finch, chief curator, and invited speakers Roz Gerstein, Gary Green, and Anthony Lee, will consider how the practice and study of photography took root in the American context and was nourished by the growth of the documentary form; the influence of cooperatives such as the Photo League; and the reach of artist networks associated with the New Bauhaus/ITT Institute of Design in Chicago and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.

The conversation also will include a reflection on how photography is taught today, including an audience Q&A session. This event is held in conjunction with the exhibition Act of Sight: The Tsiaras Family Photography Collection, which is on view through August 14, 2022.

Please pre-register for this program here. This program is free and open to all. It will be recorded and available for viewing (with captioning) on our website and social media channels, the following week.

About the Speakers

Gary Green

Gary Green is an associate professor of art at Colby College, where he has taught photography since 2007. He received his master of fine arts from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Green’s work is held in many collections including those of The RISD Museum in Providence, Rhode Island; the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; The Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; and in Maine at the Portland Museum of Art, and the Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin museums of art. Publications include: After Morandi, a visual conversation with the work of the Italian modernist painter Giorgio Morandi, published in 2016 by L’Artiere Edizioni in Bologna, and featured at both the New York Art Book Fair and Paris Photo; When Midnight Comes Around, published in 2020 by Stanley/Barker, containing a selection of work he made in New York City in the 1970s and ‘80s of the downtown music and art scene; and The River is Moving / The Blackbird Must be Flying, a photobook of new landscape work, released by L’Artiere in 2020. Green is currently at work on a series of photographs of Long Island, where he was raised. 

Roz Gerstein

Roz Gerstein creates photographs that explore identity in American culture, seeking to highlight the significance of personal histories. Her approach to art was influenced by her teacher Harry Callahan, whose advice was to photograph what you care most about. Roz has also had a lifelong commitment to teaching the creative process, designing programs for students ages 5 to 85 in settings as varied as universities, museums, grade schools, and assisted living centers. In 1969, she developed the first instant photography classes for young inner-city children with the support of Polaroid, featured in her upcoming book Picturing Providence. Roz is currently developing a series of photography books that are deeply personal and express her desire to influence social change. Roz holds a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design, a master of arts in teaching from the Rhode Island School of Design, and a Ph.D. from MIT in communication technology and culture. Her photographs are in the collections of the George Eastman House Museum, the Princeton University Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Gallery of Canada. She is the recipient of several grants from the Massachusetts and Vermont Councils on the Arts, and has been selected as the 2022 Artist-in-Residence at Glacier National Park.

Anthony Lee

Anthony W. Lee is an art historian, critic, curator and photographer, and the Idella Plimpton Kendall Professor of Art History at Mount Holyoke College. As a critic and scholar, he writes about photography and modernist painting in the period between 1860 and 1960. As a photographer, he documents ethnic and immigrant communities. Lee is the recipient of the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art, given by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and of the Cultural Studies Book Prize, given by the Association for Asian American Studies. He is founder and editor of the acclaimed book series Defining Moments in Photography.

The Art& series brings together visiting artists, scholars, museum staff, and community experts for conversations about exhibitions, collections, and projects at the Colby College Museum of Art and its Lunder Institute for American Art. A mix of in-person, virtual, and hybrid programs, this series is designed for those interested in learning more about art and engaging with the key issues of our time.

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