By Retta Edling

After a seven year campaign to have their work included in the bi-annual Student Art Show at the Downtown Studio Art Gallery, the Professional Photography students will get to hang their photos with student works of fine art.

Dr. Fran Hetrick, Dean of the Division of Communications, Humanities, and Technical Studies, announced this week that the Professional Photography students were welcome to submit art photographs for inclusion in the student art shows beginning with the Spring, 2018 show.

“I am proud of our faculty getting together to talk about this and really debating it and coming up with a different answer than what has been there before,” said Hetrick.

The Professional Photography Department (known as PHO), is classified as a certificate program designed to teach commercial skills. The fine arts aspects of photography are not emphasized in the program.  According to Hetrick, the mission of the gallery is to exhibit fine art.

The line between commercial and fine art has been debated by department. Only students enrolled in a photography class with the ART destination were previously allowed to submit their photographs.

“I am thrilled! In the spirit of Alfred Stieglitz, our photography students are tenacious and passionate and never stopped seeking the recognition for their talents within the halls of our school,” said Angela Crews, PHO adjunct instructor.

Judging the shows differently is the solution, according to Hetrick. She said, “Instead of having our faculty and staff decide what work goes into the show we are going to have artist jurors. That will allow for photographers who wish to continue in the fine arts professionally to have a venue.”

The shows will be judged from members of the art community outside of PPCC, and those jurors will decide which pieces are selected.

PHO student Becca Mann is pleased that the confusion has finally been settled. “Huzzah! About time. Photography is as much an artwork as painting, drawing, ceramics, stained glass, jewelry, etc. Just because our group doesn’t always carry an ART prefix doesn’t mean what we are doing is not art,” Mann said.

PHO students wanting to be in the show can get applications for entry from their professors.

For more information about Professional Photography, contact

For more information about the Student Art Show or the Gallery, contact