December 10, 2007

Students capture surprise elements

Photo: Collection of photos

For the fourth consecutive semester, Sacramento State photography students will be showcasing their senior portfolios Dec. 6 through Feb. 4 in an exhibit near Sacramento State at Camera Arts at 712 57th St.

This year’s exhibit, titled, “Manila Surprise,” features images taken by the students, and stems from a project created by assistant professor of photography Nigel Poor, who is also the program coordinator.

“At the beginning of the semester, each student receives a sealed envelope and inside they find either an object, or objects, or directions to follow,” Poor says. “They must use what they find inside to create an image for the show.”

This year’s exhibit will feature some interesting items such as candy corns, pipe cleaners and 200 lady bugs in a jar. And just as these items are transformed with the creative eye of a photographer, the project has transformed as well.

In the first year of the project, Poor created the envelopes, and now each class that completes the assignment also makes the envelopes that are given to the next semester's students, Poor says. They are also responsible for organizing the entire show.

“It’s a lot of responsibility, but they do a good job,” Poor says. “It’s neat from a teacher’s point of view to see that.”

Senior Meghan Sweeney, one of Poor’s students who will have work showcased in the exhibit, says that the project has been interesting, and a great experience.

“I hope that the student who receives the envelope I create will enjoy the project as much as I’ve enjoyed it,” Sweeney says.

A reception for the exhibit will be held Saturday, Dec. 8 from 6-8 p.m., with the students present to discuss the process of the project.

For more information, go to Camera Arts website at