RIT’s Gallery r Highlights ‘Photography in Dubrovnik’

Photography students capture rich culture and spectacular scenery of popular tourist destination

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“Wow. Such an experience the students and I will never forget,” is all Professor Willie Osterman can say about his three-month sojourn to Dubrovnik, Croatia, with a dozen students from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.

Their study-abroad experience last spring was part of a six-credit photography course documenting the culture, food and people of Croatia. It also meant participation in the making of RIT’s 23rd Big Shot, where the students helped illuminate the historic city wall of Dubrovnik with camera flash units for the acclaimed “painting with light” project.

The students and Osterman’s spectacular images will be showcased in a Gallery r exhibition, “Photography in Dubrovnik,” which runs from Feb. 14 through March 13, with an opening reception scheduled from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15.

Although the students attended six hours of weekly photo-session classes at RIT’s “Sister School in Croatia,” The American College of Management and Technology, they spent “seven out of 10 weekends with an activity that ranged from a few hours to four days”—from meeting the curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Dubrovnik, to bus excursions in Bosnia and Sarajevo, Osterman explains.

Besides capturing the essence of the city, the students were required to further submerse themselves in the culture by creating a portrait of someone “local” in the community.

“I also asked the students to create a documentary of something that they would miss once they were gone,” Osterman says. “This idea was based around documenting what has become familiar and soon would be lost: the architecture, the apartment, the walk to the college, new friends . . . it was a very meaningful assignment and the results were excellent. We’ll be displaying some of them during our exhibition at Gallery r.”

Gallery r, 775 Park Ave., RIT’s student-run metro showcase for contemporary art, is open from 2 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free and the gallery is handicapped-accessible. For more information, call (585) 242-9470 or visit http://cias.rit.edu/~galleryr/.