Arts & Culture

Exhibit Explores UK Photography Students’ ‘Shelter in Place’ Experience

Daniel Elekes discusses his "Shelter in Place" work, in which explores his feeling of being confined in a box.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 4, 2020) A recent virtual — and physical — exhibition of work by 14 University of Kentucky digital photography students captured the world outside their doors as the artists created work while staying healthy at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Shelter in Place,” organized by UK faculty member James Robert Southard of the School of Art and Visual Studies, was available to view in person by appointment at The Parachute Factory through last weekend, and remains viewable online.

“Shelter in Place” is a response to the events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic through the eyes, and lenses, of current and recent UK digital photography students. With the help of Southard, their instructor, artists used digital photography to create works representing how they are dealing with the experience. Whether it be the artists’ growing respect for health care workers, feelings surrounding their self-isolation, or even the hobbies that help them escape the stresses of modern life, each piece reflects this time in history. “It is with great pride that I share a show that was made during one of the most challenging semesters for my fellow educators' careers, as well as our students' careers,” said Southard, a senior lecturer of photography. “Through social distancing, video conferences and file sharing, we put together a collective body of work that shows off our communities' concerns and pride. We hope that this work will be looked back upon, years from now, as a unique example of artists responding to their locale, highlighting our community’s unique experience.”

Online viewers of “Shelter in Place” can hear each of the art students talk about their ideas and processes for their work through a video by each artist. In addition, individuals can see the work as it appeared in the gallery space and listen to the artist’s video through an interactive virtual tour of “Shelter in Place” located online here.

Located in Lexington’s Northside, The Parachute Factory is a nonprofit, multi-use space to promote artistic endeavors and community engagement.

The UK School of Art and Visual Studies, part of the College of Fine Arts, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of art studioart history and visual studiesart educationcuratorial studies and digital media design.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.