SCAD Student Photographers Turn Their Lenses on “Power in Perspective”

Realized in partnership with Leica, the group exhibition reflects on expectations of feminine resilience and power.

“Penny and the Band,” credit: Tanner Phillips

The double-height windows of the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Gutstein Gallery open onto the downtown streets of the city, nicknamed “The Hostess City of the South.” It’s with something akin to irony, then, that the gallery’s current photography show explores the myriad ways women harness their own power to throw off the burdens of societal expectations. The show, titled “Power in Perspective,” features 45 student artists, ranging from undergraduate students to MFA candidates, and their photographic interpretations of women’s’ resilience.

Anyone familiar with the caliber of SCAD’s programming knows to expect the talents of future industry leaders on display at its student showcases, and “Power in Perspective” is no exception. German camera manufacturer Leica teamed up with the university to support the exhibiting students with equipment and mentorship from documentary photographer Cheriss May. A photographer who has captured presidents, their families, and whose work has earned the elusive A1 spot on the front page of the New York Times, May guided the 45 photographers through the process of producing exhibition-caliber work. “Beyond masterful guidance on aesthetic and technical aspects, Cheriss was very involved in discussing how to create an image that is not only striking but is packed with emotion and makes viewers able to imagine what happened before and after the moment captured on camera,” SCAD Museum of Art assistant curator Brittany Richmond tells Surface

“Erosion,” credit: Hannah Esquenazi

In Penny and the Band, Tanner Phillips so deftly captures the sunkissed faces of the vintage-sporting subjects that the viewer can practically feel the sun on their own face. Hannah Esquenazi’s Erosion, meanwhile, evokes resilience in the face of the insurmountable, with its subject bracing herself from waves on a sea boulder. Richmond credits the nature of the photography program’s open call for the show’s variety of perspectives. “From these diverse perspectives, both intimate, public, personal, and collective themes emerged such as family, motherhood, grandmothers, matriarchy, identity politics, fashion, community, and culture,” she said.

Below, see more works from the show, on view through April 29.

“Poetic Exploration of InnerSpace” credit: Jennifer Goebner
L: “CB University” credit: Halahna Sewer. R: “Unwavering” credit: Abigail Wornock.
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