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• Randy Fader-Smith at (718) 482-5985  Randyfs@lagcc.cuny.edu 
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LaGuardia Launches Student Photography Exhibition on Chile May 10 
 
All are Invited 

Chile 1 


Long Island City, NY—May 3, 2012—Chile, a country of breathtaking natural beauty with its jungles, fjords, glaciers, lakes and volcanoes; a rich culture and modern cosmopolitan capital, is the subject of a photography exhibition by a group of LaGuardia Community College commercial photography students that recently returned on a study abroad project. The exhibition opens on May 10.

“Expedition: Chile,” is an eclectic collection of some 80 striking black and white and color images that were taken by 17 students who each captured this fascinating country in their own artistic way. There are magnificent landscapes, formal portraiture, candid images of life in Chile, and lyrical documentary. The exhibition also includes several panoramas that are up to 20 feet in length and two videos, one on the agriculture and cuisine, and another, a travelogue on the students’ photographic adventure.

Please visit the website at www.lagcc.cuny.edu/Expedition-Chile

The exhibition’s opening reception on May 10 will take place at the LaGuardia Gallery of Photographic Arts, located in the College’s B-building (3rd floor) at 30-20 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The photographs will be on display through June 30. Viewing hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (718) 482-5985 or (718) 349-4028 or e-mail Ssternbach@lagcc.cuny.edu. 

To capture these exquisite images, the students embarked on the program’s first study abroad project that was part photography expedition and part eco-tour. During the month-long tour, the group biked through the streets of Santiago, kayaked next to dolphins and sea lions in the fiords near Puerto Varas, the lake district in southern Patagonia, and climbed to the top of the Chaiten volcano. They hiked in the extremely remote New Patagonia Park in Chacabuco Valley, toured Cochrane, the land of the Gauchos, and visited the Baker River, a turquoise-blue glacial waterway that is the site for the country’s biggest hydroelectric project.

And all the while the students took photos. But their images did not come without a price. “Unfortunately, we had a few mishaps along the way,” said Scott Sternbach, chairperson of the commercial photography program who led the expedition.

That included a tropical rainstorm that stalled over southern Chile and trapped them in a beautiful cove with not-so-waterproof tents. The storm brought heavy winds that sunk their boat with most of their gear. Luckily, the majority of the students’ cameras were saved. Local fishermen rescued the drenched group and took them back to their fishing village and welcomed them with a feast.

The rain followed them throughout their tour of Patagonia’s fjords and again in Cohyaique, a small city in the Aysen region. Mother Nature finally decided to cooperate when they reached New Patagonia Park where they spent a number of days hiking and exploring. And sunny skies greeted them at Cochrane, the land of the Gauchos where they enjoyed a festival, and Baker River, where they photographed the beautiful river before dams are built.

“I must admit, at times it was hard on all of us,” said Mr. Sternbach, who added that they did not expect such rains during the country’s dry season. “But we all agree it was a life-changing experience, and, I hope, this will be the first of many study abroad photography projects.”

Johnny Tsang admitted that he wasn’t that enthused about the project, but that quickly changed. “The country is amazing with its wonderful people, its beautiful landscape and its great food,” said Johnny, who added that the high point of the trip for him was Chacabuco Valley. “It was there that I really settled in and focused on my work.”

The visit to Baker River also left an impression on the young photographer. He said he was concerned about the impact the dams will have on this beautiful site. “Through my photographs,” he said, “I want to tell people how this project can affect this beautiful land.” 

Louis Aguirre, who did a travelogue with a 4x5 view camera on the experience with a concentration on landscape and portraiture, noted that it was an incredible experience not simply because of the photography, but because of all the places they visited. “We started in Santiago, which was nice, but it was not until we got to Patagonia that we saw these amazing landscapes,” he said. “If you don’t get inspired by that, there is something wrong with you.”

Louis said he is ready to go back. “But this time I will bring more than a $3 poncho,” he said.

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit www.laguardia.edu to learn more.
 

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