Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Portraits 101

aka Never Stop Learning and Challenging Yourself

Once again, I am a student at my local community college - learning can not be stopped.

I'm incredibly lucky to have so many high quality teachers right in my home town. This is a departure from my regular routine of working by myself, in the darkroom or the high country of Colorado. Portraits, while challenging, can be some of the most rewarding images a photographer can make. And I'm only getting started!

Here are a few of my images from the first assignments. (Environmental, Studio, Group, Self and Experimental Portraits)

All photographs copyright Laura Cofrin and Valhall Arts.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

State of the Arts: Fort Collins

Alternate title: Still Nothing There. (Part Two)
Naming no names.

Flying over a flyover state.
My lack of interest in this blog is a good indicator of my opinions of the current state of the arts in ole Fort Collins. All too often, the community's lack luster reception of contemporary art makes it a frustrating and unrewarding experience for the artist. (At least for this artist - I speak for myself only.) The avant-garde is shunned, any artwork that is too unusual, too challenging, or different, is scoffed at, or worse, ignored. There is a serious lack of critical thinking on art, and a total lack of good dialogue going on in this town. Luckily, there IS some great work coming out of the region, there are many great artists in this town, and a few fabulous galleries. It's the reception of the art works, the faked interest, that undermines my efforts to expand my communications with my local audience. Why bother? There is nothing, or rather, no one there.

Further proving my point was the hype around the hiring of a new 'arts and entertainment' writer at our local paper. This has again proven to be a disappointment. This writer's youth, (evidenced by her twitter TL) and her lack of knowledge in the arts, (probably due to a lack of education in the area) is obvious in her writing.  It is a lack of respect for the discipline, knowing what it is to be an artist, how art is made and what makes a good gallery/museum/exhibition.  The in-ability to articulate well to the reading public, to contribute meaningful dialogue to the discourse of contemporary art, is a dis-service to the reading public, and has only managed to maintain the "blah", status quo of Fort Collins' art scene.

Photo by Alex Kuznetsov,

I have not completely lost hope, however. Nothing motivates me more than a challenge. I do have high hopes for the Fort Collins Museum of Art with the hiring of a new executive director. Patience will be needed however, as it will take several years to see the changes in the exhibitions. Other bright spots in our local art scene include the growing group of artists active in promoting a vibrant art scene. It is not an over intellectualized state of mind that I am craving, rather a curious disposition, a mind full of wonder and a spirit engaged in raising the bar, expanding ideas, and through these interactions gaining a greater understanding of one's self, one's community and the world.

"Somewhere over the Rainbow" photo by Laura Cofrin, 2014
To see the previous post regarding my ongoing struggle with the local art scene,
please click here.