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  • The Getty’s College Night Features New York Film Academy’s Wish Lantern Lounge

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    This year, NYFA was invited to participate in the Getty Center’s annual College Night. The event attracts 2,500 college students from all over Los Angeles and is designed by college students, for college students — with a little help from Getty curators, education specialists, and faculty at participating universities.

    This year’s College Night celebrated the diverse and unique qualities that make up the city of Los Angeles. The call was to showcase Los Angeles as a city of artists, to inspire students to re-think their ideas about what art can be, and show them that art is for everyone.

    NYFA Instructor Jennifer Penton and Co-Associate Chair of Photography Naomi White formed a class dedicated to Getty College Night with 11 photography students. Together, they created and pitched interactive programming ideas.

    One of NYFA’s MFA in Photography candidates, Juan Sebastian Echeverri, was chosen to be on the prestigious Getty Advisory Board, along with students from these participating schools: 

    • University of California, Los Angeles
    • University of Southern California
    • Santa Monica College
    • California State University, Los Angeles
    • California Institute of the Arts
    • College of the Canyons
    • Loyola Marymount University
    • California State University, Long Beach
    • California Lutheran University

    Working with the local, non-profit group Welcome to Junior High, who promote the artistic pursuits of marginalized voices, NYFA students envisioned a Wish Lantern Lounge, where participants were invited to write their wishes on one side of a tag, and the part of their identity that they would like to see better represented in the world, on the other. Once their tag was made, students chose a lantern from an array of colors and hung it up. Over the course of the evening a “grove of light” was created by the hanging of hundreds of lanterns, each sending a message.

    Participants could walk under the lanterns and read the wishes and identities, which ranged from “Angry Intersectional Feminist” to “Cat Lover,” and from “Tolerance for Immigrants” to “More Opportunities.” It was an emotionally moving experience to walk amongst these fervent desires, and to see the lanterns enliven the space with their joyful spring colors and flickering lights.

    “Being part of the Getty Collaboration was a rewarding experience,” said NYFA BFA Photography student Edolia Stroud. “It was so cool to collaborate with my peers, and have our installation displayed at the Getty.”

    Fellow BFA Photography student Jennifer Siemsen agreed. “I think that with the collaboration of all the attendees, we ended up creating something really beautiful.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank the Getty Center for their inspiring College Night event and for honoring us by including our students’ exhibit in it. We would also like to thank our staff and students for their incredible work in making the exhibit such a success.

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  • New York Film Academy Los Angeles Students Examine Ancient Treasures at the Getty Villa

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    This month, degree students in New York Film Academy (NYFA) Los Angeles’ Western Art History Class visited the Getty Villa in Malibu, California. They were interested in seeing how the ancient Greeks and Romans developed their depictions of humans and gods, and whether these early creators sought to mimic nature or to reflect individuals in their most ideal forms. There were a lot of surprises to be discovered in the museum.

    The Getty Villa was designed to recreate the experience of seeing art in an ancient Roman home. After looking at these art works for weeks on a screen, students were excited to see how the mass and volume of the figures affected them in person.

    Through the trip, students learned that ancient Greek art was actually very diverse. Students saw stylized early Greek burial sculptures from the Cycladic civilization, painted burial masks, numerous portraits, busts of Roman rulers and the upper class, and a special exhibition of Roman mosaics. Another highlight was the chance to get up close to a Romano-Egyptian mummy with an intact portrait from 120 CE.

    Said one participant, “[My favorite part of the trip] was seeing how there were rings with art in them. It was shocking and interesting to see the different representations of art, beyond the sculptures.”

    Each student was assigned to choose one sculpture and write a formal analysis, contextualizing the piece both historically and stylistically, which meant that students had to look at the art rather intentionally and up-close — an experience that was a little unnerving for some students.

    “It felt weird lingering to stare at the cloth on a lot of the sculptures,” said one. “How did they make it look so thin?”

    Another student was left in awe. “I’ve always been amazed by art, but every time I go to a museum, I have more and more respect and appreciation towards it.”

    Students come to NYFA from all over the world and their experiences in the classroom tend to reflect that. For several of the students in the group, this was their first time in an art museum of the Getty’s status, while one student had never seen sculpture of human bodies before.

    One student said of their experience, “There is nothing like seeing a sculpture or painting live in front of you. It was my first time being at a place where all sorts of art was right there for your eyes to see.”

    When the class discussed their experience afterward, it turned out they learned a lot. Some of the students were impressed with the accuracy of the recreation of Roman society. Comments like, “I was able to see the craftsmanship up close and now have more respect for the artists,” and “I used to just appreciate art, but now I think about who made it and why,” were common among the group of excited scholars. The day was an incredible success.

    The New York Film Academy is grateful to the Getty for continuing to curate such important art pieces for our students to experience. One student walked away stating, “I learned that art serves a bigger purpose in a society than it shows. It makes us think more critically.”

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    December 8, 2017 • Academic Programs, Community Highlights • Views: 1317

  • Luther Gurlach and Tintype Photography

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    tintype

    Photographs with the image printed on a metal service are called tintype. The process behind this is called wet plate collodion; it is a mixture of chemicals that are light sensitive. This mixture coats the glass plate — which is now the negative — then the negative turns into a positive when mounted on a reflective surface.

    Starting in the late 1800’s, it is one of the first affordable photographic processes, and because the tintype was such a cheap process and usually low quality, anyone could get an inexpensive picture taken at the beach or carnival by itinerant photographers.

    Luther Gerlach is a master practitioner of the wet plate collodine process and theory. He is recognized and used by the Getty Museum for their demonstrations and workshops in the medium. Luther is also the owner and operator of the world’s largest “mammoth” wet plate collodine camera.

    Every semester our photography students are invited to Luther’s studio in Ventura, CA for a demonstration of the process and tour of his studio or they meet him on location. The students are always taken back in time as Luther sets up his camera — in a field, beach, house, street or his studio — and composes the photograph with the students in it.

    Luther then goes to his truck, which is his custom-built mobile darkroom, and prepares the plate to make the exposure. First, he pours the collodine over a piece of glass. He then immerses it in a tray of silver nitrate. While damp, the plate is put into a light, tight box to be transferred from the mobile darkroom truck to the camera. Here it is put into a special plate holder inside the camera for the exposure. The cap is taken off the lens and the plate is exposed to light. The exposure times range anywhere from 20 seconds to ten minutes, depending on the light. Once the time is up, the plate is removed and the photo is ready. If a subject moves during the timed shoot, it will blur them in the final image. Once dry, the image is then varnished to preserve it

    This historical process is difficult, frustrating and slow, though it creates a final image that is eerie yet aesthetically beautiful.

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    June 4, 2015 • Photography • Views: 4079