Capture x ECU Exhibition Showcases Artistic Evolution of Student Artists


Maria Michopulu, Bones. (Photo courtesy Maria Michopulu)

By Perrin Grauer

Posted on April 02, 2024 | Updated April 05, 2024, 12:38pm

The show marks the latest edition of a groundbreaking educational partnership between Capture Photography Festival and Emily Carr University.

Creating work for a new Capture Photography Festival exhibition expanded students’ artistic and collaborative horizons, say participants.

Titled Longing to See: Photography and In-Visibility, the show features works created by students during a partnered photography course taught by artist and ECU faculty member Birthe Piontek. Students also received mentorship from curator and Capture executive director Emmy Lee Wall, as well as other leading industry professionals.

“It definitely informed my work in other classes, and my work in other classes informed my Capture work as well,” says fourth-year student Maria Michopulu of the experience. “I think it’s important for people to develop their practice outside of the frame of school. This course taught me to be responsible for my own work and that it’s important to push it where I want it to go.”

Curated by Birthe, the exhibition marks the latest edition of Capture x Emily Carr, a groundbreaking partnership between Audain Faculty of Art and Capture.

Offering students an opportunity to extend their reach in professional contexts is part of the course’s design, Emmy notes.

“The Capture x ECU course aims to bridge the gap between education and professional practice by supporting students through the process of mounting a professional exhibition from start to finish,” she says. “Our goal is to offer students an expansive and rigorous experience that helps prepare them for professional practice as emerging artists. Capture is thrilled to support and nurture burgeoning artists in this way."

Each year, students are challenged to develop work on a specific theme. This year’s theme asks, “What can be made visible in a photograph and what stays hidden?” At the end of the semester, a jury of independent arts professionals selects student works for exhibition at Emily Carr, which is presented as part of Capture Photography Festival.

“This course and accompanying exhibition are students’ critical inquiry into the assumptions that, in this day and age, everyone seems to know what photography is,” says Birthe. “When in reality, the medium is inherently impermanent and becoming increasingly complex.”

Julia Kerrigan

Julia Kerrigan, Screened Smiles. (Image courtesy Julia Kerrigan)

Fourth-year student Julia Kerrigan took the course once before without having her work selected for exhibition. Despite her initial disappointment, she was determined to take what she’d learned into this year’s challenge.

“You learn a lot about yourself; you learn a lot about your practice and how other people interact with art,” says Julia. “I gained all this experience, knowledge, and information about what it means to make work for an exhibition and how the jury process works. Having this course you can take part in an exhibition that’s part of the larger Vancouver arts community is so important.”

Maria and Julia note they forged new and exciting connections with peers and the broader arts community.

“You’re all helping each other, building each other up and being there for each other,” Julia says. “Everyone needs to take this course. It’s the most amazing experience. It’s super unique. It sets you up for success for third year and moving forward.”

“The Capture show allows people to do something practical that’s connected to communities outside of Emily Carr,” Maria adds. “It’s a lesson in being responsible within community and helping other people and making the work the best it can be, not just for grading. I would definitely recommend it.”

Longing to See runs April 3 through April 29 at Emily Carr University. The opening reception takes place on April 5 from 6 to 8 P.M. Admission is free and open to the public

Visit the Longing to See online gallery to see the works via your web browser.

Visit Capture Photography Festival online and follow them on Instagram for more information on their vast range of annual programming.

Visit Emily Carr online to learn more about studying Photography at Emily Carr.