Gallery r Hosts Photographic Exhibition: ‘Patti Ambrogi and Owen Butler’

RIT professors to receive Honored Educators Award at Visual Studies Workshop Nov. 2

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“View From First Growth Tree/Bentley Woods, Victor, N.Y.” by Patti Ambrogi

A photograph can leave a lasting impression, but so have two Rochester Institute of Technology professors for pushing the boundaries of contemporary photographic practice in the fields of book making, still photography, video and digital imaging.

Gallery r, RIT’s metro art showcase at 100 College Ave., presents the “Patti Ambrogi and Owen Butler” photographic exhibition from Nov. 1 through Nov. 28, with an opening reception scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 2.

Ambrogi and Butler are professors in RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, and the opening reception coincides with their induction as Honored Educators by the Northeast Regional Chapter of the Society for Photographic Education, which celebrates its 50th anniversary at the annual regional conference Nov. 1 to Nov. 3 at Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince St. The induction ceremony for Honored Educators Award will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 2 at VSW, preceding the exhibition opening at Gallery r.

The SPE lifetime achievement award is one of many honors for Ambrogi, who is also the past recipient of RIT’s prestigious Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching. In the Gallery r exhibition, she delves into a project she calls the “Geography of Desire.”

“My pictures map our interactions and our journeys on the earth, as we explore the spaces and the geometry and the boundaries of land we preserve through regional, national and international designations,” Ambrogi explains. “The pieces explore our conceptions and idealizations of landscape; landscape as a way of seeing, a gaze referring to the eye and the lens, where landscape is the result of various practices materialized through evolving representations.”

For more than three decades, Butler and Ambrogi have instructed and inspired generations of students in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences’ BFA and MFA programs, says Therese Mulligan, professor and administrative chair of RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.

“Each has stamped their mark on the educational mission and curriculum of the nationally ranked school, whether in the photojournalism program, in which Butler currently teaches, or in the fine art area, where Ambrogi developed new classes in digital and moving media,” Mulligan says. “As renowned photo educators, Butler and Ambrogi epitomize the rich attributes of a life and career spent in the visual arts; both are practicing artists with a recognized legacy of exhibitions and publications.”

Zerbe Sodervick, Gallery r coordinator and director of extended studies at RIT, says Ambrogi and Butler have made significant impact in the field of photography education and created benchmarks for achievement in digital and traditional photographic directions.

“Their new works showcased at 100 College Avenue will undoubtedly generate and contribute to some lively commentary—art conversations guaranteed to waft across those gallery spaces through November.”

Gallery r will also feature book signings by numerous Society for Photographic Education photographers the night of the opening reception, including Sharon Harper, Justin Kimball, John Willis and Tom Young. Butler will have several books at Gallery r for those wishing to purchase autographed copies.

Administrated by RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Gallery r is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The gallery is handicapped accessible and all exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information, call 585-256-3312 or e-mail

For information about SPE’s Northeast Regional Conference, go to, call 585-442-8876 or e-mail