Thanks to the philanthropic efforts of Gary R. Libby
Students Michelle Meyers and Grant Wolfe have closely looked through an existing collection of photographs from Daytona State College's Photography Department, reached out to fellow students and photography program alumni, and even considered the work of current faculty. "Initially, the process was a little daunting," said Meyers. "We began pulling work and placing them side-by-side in the mat room. Constantly replacing one for a more interestingly composed or captured photo. It became amazing! I began to notice a palette emerging and a concept developed, then it became easier to see the exhibition."
The News-Journal Center is one of Daytona State's seven instructional sites. The facility is used by the college as a rehearsal and performance space for students to conduct musical and theatrical productions, and is where many official college events and ceremonies take place. The building also doubles as a civic center, with many programs open to the public.
Recent renovations on the ground floor include a section of the main lobby designated as the Gary R. Libby Gallery. Libby is director emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, as well as a well-known author and lecturer. He has taken an interest in the education of DSC students by underwriting the renovation of this section of the center's lobby and funding an annual program for DSC students that culminates in the first of regular art exhibitions in this new gallery space. With his generosity, Libby enables students to gain the experience of curating and installing a photography exhibit, guided by the professionals at the Southeast Museum of Photography and the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies at Daytona State. Libby created and supports a similar program at the University of Florida for graduate students, but this engagement is the first of its kind at a college level.
For Meyers, the opportunity to work with and learn from the installation has been a valuable experience. "Being given the opportunity to cultivate the arts within the realm of photography has been exhilarating! I am passionate about creating, viewing, living photography and was not entirely sure that putting together a show would be as rewarding, but I have found myself telling Grant that I am totally excited about this body of work. It's interesting what steps need to be taken in order to produce such a show, a lot more than the average person would realize."
The News-Journal Center is open during regular semester hours and by appointment; closed during major holidays and college closures. For more information call or email (386) 506-3894; museum1@DaytonaState.edu. For details on how to enroll in DSC's Photographic Technology program, visit DaytonaState.edu/Photography or call (386) 506-3581.