Deborah Bright honored at Society for Photographic Education Northeast Regional Conference
“When RISD hosted the Society for Photographic Education Northeast Regional Conference last weekend, the organization took the opportunity to present Acting Dean of Fine Arts and Photography Professor Deborah Bright with its Honored Educator Award.
As Provost Jessie Shefrin pointed out in introducing her friend and colleague, and summarizing her many accomplishments, Deborah’s work – in her own words – is driven by ‘the relationship of landscapes to historical meaning; the intersections of memory and erotic desire; the place of the past in the construction of the present. Often, my photographic projects are informed by their political and economic contexts: the resurgence of militarism and patriotism in the U.S., the mounting costs of environmental negligence, deindustrialization, queer activism and AIDS, a society that tolerates a state of endless war and inflicting suffering on others.’
As a teacher, Deborah is ‘famous for her Herculean preparation efforts, depth of knowledge and classroom demeanor,’ noted Steve Smith, head of RISD’s Photography Department. ‘Students clamor to gain access to her classes, and I know of former students – now faculty members at other universities – who have sat in on her classes over and over again.’
The weekend conference focused on The Experiential in Photographyand featured Spencer Finch MFA ’89 SC as the keynote speaker. A graduate of the Sculpture Department, Spencer creates multimedia installations that explore the invisible world and make use of scientific methods to achieve poetic ends.”