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Editor's Notes

Beth Bailey, Abbie Michalek, David Culp, Katie Hart, Seth Watkins, and Isabel Bolanos were recipients of an ORCA Travel Grant to present their photography portfolios at the Society for Photographic Education Midwest regional conference, October 2023.


The experience our students gained from attending the conference hosted by Columbia College in Chicago was truly remarkable. Columbia College is one of the finest photography programs in the region, and our students had the privilege to engage with various activities that broadened their knowledge and perspective in the field.

During the conference, on October 20, our students had the opportunity to visit the MFA open studios. This experience allowed them to interact with graduate students, gaining insights into their respective areas of expertise. The discussions and exchanges with Midwest professors, BFA, and MFA students proved to be incredibly beneficial, offering our students a platform to share their research portfolios and receive constructive feedback.

On October 21, each of our students had the chance to participate in two sessions where they met professionals in the field. These sessions were thoughtfully designed to provide critical feedback on their research areas while also offering valuable references and suggestions for further exploration and growth in their projects.

This video, produced by Abbie Michalek, captures the highlights of the conference.