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Town and Gown

October 7, 2013

By: Mary Anne Fitzpatrick

Annie Leibovitz, America’s best known living photographer, has a show (Pilgrimage) that opened on Thursday, October 3 at the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA).  

 I attended the opening reception along with hundreds of other members, as the word was out that Ms. Leibovitz was in attendance.

Another CMA photography show opened at the same time.  Photography students in the College, mentored by nationally recognized Professor Kathleen Robbins ( ), were asked to submit bodies of work based on one of the themes central to Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage.  Six of our students were selected for the exhibition called The View from Here. The student photographs have been called “hauntingly beautiful works” (

 The students participating in the exhibition all completed their BFA in Art Studio/Photo in 2013 although David Hicks is a current student.   Congratulations to Cheryl Upchurch, Gabrielle Wingate, David Hicks, Hannah Collum, Rachel Wolfe, and Taylor Singmaster.  

Having your work chosen for exhibition is a thrilling experience for a young artist.  Ms. Leibovitz actually toured the student exhibit on Thursday and spent time talking with our students about their work.  She was incredibly generous and spent time with each student (photo shows David Hicks with the artist) and was very complimentary of their work. Naturally, we are proud of these students and the faculty who mentor them and we thank the museum and its visionary director, Karen Brosius and her team, for giving our students this transformational opportunity. 

If you visit the Leibovitz show at the CMA, I hope you will also stop and look at The View from Here. You may discover another Leibovitz.   

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