Elements: Stories of Matter

Elements: Stories of Matter

Article by Charlie Myett and Ashley Searing


Landscape and Architecture Photography students at FUA presented their beautiful photo exhibit showcasing their theme “Elements: Stories of Matter” which examined the way light changes the view of a landscape.

Eric’s photo collection, entitled Flare, captures the beauty of just that. Flare. Eric is new to the use of a camera and has now sparked quite an interest and appreciation for the art of photography. He first noticed the “luminousness” and “godliness” of the subject matter in flared photos when he witnessed a sunset on the roof of his apartment. This photo is included in his collection. Eric decided to run with this theme and capture flared photos all around Florence.

Ushna has had an interest in photography since the age of 14, and now has an exhibit displayed at Corridoio Fiorentino entitled Essence. Ushna’s photographs were inspired by her interest in architecture and history, which brought her to take the Landscape and Architectural Photography course. The pictures focus on the element of shadows, and Ushna explained that she specifically experimented with abstract angles. She brought a fresh, unknown view and image to the well-aged statues of Florence. She very interestingly connected her perspective as an International Student, as well as an abroad student with the themes of her photos. An “outsider” perspective. One of Ushna’s photographs can also be found on the cover of the exhibit’s flyer and catalog.

Don is originally from North Carolina but has been traveling all over the world since early childhood. Don’s photographs are a continuation of previous work he has done with alternate reality. His collection at Corridoio was entitled Alternate Reality Through Architecture. Don’s previous work still focused on the aspect of alternate reality, though in the form of microphotography. Don shared some of his old work with us, it was truly remarkable. His new work takes this theme of alternate reality and brings it to the larger scale with buildings and landscapes. Don has been surrounded by art and constantly new environments his entire life and has applied his long-developed psychedelic themes to his latest collection.

The event was wonderfully catered by the International School of Hospitality, which served an array of sandwiches, snacks, desserts and beverages.

This photo exhibit will be available for viewing until October 17th, 2018 in Corridoio Fiorentino. 



Article by Marlo Miller and Antonella Nicolas


On Thursday, July 12th, at the main campus of Florence University of the Arts on Corso Tintori, student Natalie Burch presented “Handmade,” a photojournalism exhibition centered around the hands of four Florentine artisans.

Natalie Burch is studying Journalism with a concentration in New Media at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  She said that the photojournalism class at FUA allowed her the freedom to be creative and to immerse herself in the world of local artisans.

Her professor, Marco Gualtieri, wanted students to go beyond the surface of the new culture in order to combine the tools of a journalist and the techniques of a photographer.

“We try to teach the students not just to take pretty pictures, but to take photos that comply with journalistic standards,” Gualtieri said.

The inspiration to center the exhibition around the hands of local artisans stemmed from the relationship Burch had cultivated with Alessio, a butcher at the Mercato Centrale.  Although Burch does not speak Italian, she was able to overcome the language barrier and communicate her desire to capture his craftsmanship with her lens.  This positive experience with Alessio encouraged her to dig deeper into artisan workshops on the streets of Florence, where she interviewed a cobbler, a restorer and a street artist.

“Florence is not just a tourist city, there are so many locals who are willing to show people their crafts,” Burch said.

The artisans were so welcoming that Burch was compelled to adjust the cooler hues of some of the photos in order to reflect the warmth of her interactions with the locals.  She said that it was important to her to highlight the friendliness and hospitality that she was shown.

Baking and Pastry students Emily Nelson and Abby Balota provided the aperitivo for the event, while Event Management student Shanna Liu was responsible for serving drinks. The exhibition was curated by Photography experiential learning students. 

From Picture to Reality

From Picture to Reality: Health and Wellness on the FUA Campus

Photo by Da'Shay Alexander
Article by Hannah Silver and Christina Wainwright


Excited laughter rings through the Corso Tintori 21 building from students, volunteers, and professors attending the Health and Wellness event. It is a rainy Thursday, May 3rd, at 6:00PM, and the room’s walls are covered with student photography, graphics, animations, and interior design pieces highlighting the importance of mental and physical well-being and the new initiative Florence University of the Arts plans to roll out in the next semesters to come. These initiatives include more courses in the Health and Wellness department and a new student run spa on campus.

Plenty of aperitif options decorate a white table cloth, but most of the attention of attendees is directed towards the work hanging on the walls--and for good reason. In order to better understand the meaning of the work, we chatted with several of the students.

First, we speak to a girl with blonde curls, a denim jacket and a yellow bandana that ties nicely around her neck. Her name is Isabelle Fall, and she is a video production major from Portland, Maine. She emphasizes that her birds-eye image of model Hannah Sanders was a personal piece for her Fashion Photography course.

We wanted to learn more about any challenges she faced during her project, to which Fall responds, “Honestly, it’s all about timing, especially in these classes where we are asking friends or classmates to be our models and they are doing it for free. It’s really hard to find a time that works for you, the model, and when the weather and light is good for shooting.” Fall justifies that this challenge was worthwhile, claiming she gets a sort of “high from composing things in a way that is pleasing to the eye.”

Fall hopes that first and foremost, audience members understand that fashion photography is not “all about being bougie,” but rather can be “casual and show everyday clothing like athletic wear.”

Perhaps the most interesting thing we grasped from our conversation with the bubbly photographer are her thoughts on the health and wellness field in correlation to photography: “Photography is a very easy to consume and appreciate. For instance, even those who cannot read can understand photography. I think topics in health and wellness are important so using photography to speak about these themes is very important and powerful.” She believes that students studying abroad at FUA may feel as though they are on vacation and may not take care of themselves properly, so the initiative is fundamental to the experience!

Second, we interview Fashion & Design student Da’Shay Alexander, from Seattle, Washington. She is wearing a vibrant yellow shirt to match her positive smile and easy demeanor. She explains her photography was for the Fashion photography course, one of her three fashion classes.

Alexander explains that her piece was chosen out of a pool of around
40 students, and that she was “thrilled” by the opportunity to showcase
her photography of two of her laughing friends. Although it was her first
time working with a camera and the advanced editing programs offered
by FUA, her goal was to “capture joy in [her] pictures by allowing
viewers to see the happiness of the models” in a raw, authentic fashion.
When asked about the importance of authenticity, Alexander laughs
with a witty response: “I want truly authentic, not staged happiness and
positivity.” She hopes that through her photography she can stress the
fundamental emphasis that should be placed on mental wellness, not just physical. She believes the FUA initiative will translate this ability well to students.

Katherine Casswell from Frankland, Massachusetts, is also at the event showcasing her artwork of a girl exercising jubially. She studies photography at home, so it was a natural choice for her to study in Florence, she explains. Her photograph mirrors her concept of “movement” which she says ties back to the overarching concept of health and wellness.

When asked what her biggest challenge was during the project, Caswell responds with a laugh: “Well, with this rainy weather we have been seeing in Florence, finding a sunny day to match the positive theme of the event was by far the biggest trial for me!”

Caswell stresses the importance of being active, claiming it to be a fun way to destress and self-empower! In her image of the girl jumping, she tries to capture the idea that athletes seem to capture the very essence of what it means to be “full of life.” As an FUA student, Caswell believes that the health and wellness initiative will allow students a well-rounded balance to their potentially busy schedules.

Beyond what was conveyed through their beautiful photographs,
speaking with the talented students gave real insight about the importance of health and wellness, both in general and on the FUA campus in particular. FUA is a university that draws countless international students per semester. Often times, it becomes easy to forget about mental and physical wellness as students become wrapped up in the abroad experience. Expressed by the beautifully composed photographs, an individual’s mental and physical wellness is crucial and should never be neglected! The introduction of classes and amenities that promote health and wellness is an exciting addition to the university.

A Combination of Fashion and Photography

A Combination of Fashion and Photography

By Amanda Torrisi 
Photo by Angel Pelaez


FUA’s Introduction to Fashion Photography course is based on the technical, cultural, visual, and historical aspects of fashion photography. This introductory seminar teaches students the technical and logistical aspects of fashion photography using natural light and light basic metering. 

 Angel Pelaez took the FUA Introduction to Fashion Photography course and spoke about his experience. 


Is this your first photography class?


This is my first photography class but I’ve been doing photography on my own for five years now as a hobby. 


What made you interested in fashion photography?


My interest for fashion photography comes from my interest in both fashion and photography. Through the seminar, I was able to combine these two passions and produce a body of work that could be used for editorials or product photographs. 


What inspires your work?


My personal work is inspired by my experience with intersectionality that allows me to explore various sides of my identity. I like to start discussions with my work about Latinidad and ultimately dig deeper into the psyche exploring vulnerability and queerness.


How has this class helped your work to evolve?


This class has helped me refine my portfolio due to the weekly assignments that allow me to practice the craft. Especially using friends as muses has been exciting to be able to feature them in my work. 


Would you recommend this class to others and why?


I would recommend this class to a beginner because the course does its best to guide you through the essentials of using a camera. 


Do you have a personal statement about your work that we could include with the photographs?


This shoot was rewarding because I’m very much used to shooting outside. Having a studio allowed me to experiment with the model and push the boundaries of the space through poses and movement. The experience solidified my passion for merging photography and fashion. Beauty is everywhere, most importantly in the details. And that translates to life; it’s in the simple things that magic lies. 



Future editions of this course can be consulted at the FUA academic schedule.

Silver Lining

Silver Lining

By Margaret Haynie


‘Seeing the silver lining’ is the expression used to describe finding the light even in the darkest circumstance. The film used for film photography contains silver particles, and while the process is hard work, it pays off with a beautiful piece of artwork. On the evening of March 15th, 2018, the intermediate film photography students at Florence University of the Arts displayed their work from the semester so far. The wide range of work was intriguing and showed off each student’s talent and uniqueness. The students Gregg Casazza, Jenna Johnson, Lara Kranny, and Lauren Reheuser all had their work included in the exhibit.


In Corridoio Fiorentino, two intriguing displays were set up: one showing the actual film used in film photography, and one showing the process of developing photos. The event was catered by students of the Apicius Culinary Arts School at FUA, who served a delicious Aperitivo and champagne. To begin the night, the Intermediate Film Photography professor, Marco Gualtieri, introduced his students and gave a little insight into the film photography process. He states that working with film photography is a way to “slow down from the digital world,” and is an art in which you embrace the accidents.


Jenna Johnson, a student from Michigan, exhibited her series named ‘Florence Unobserved’ and captured life in Florence while no one was watching. Jenna said she wanted to explore her appreciation of the less obvious beauty in Florence, and really focus on the unnoticed aspects of the city. She enjoys film photography because, “every picture, no matter what you take, turns into art.”


Lauren Reheuser, of Virgina, went in a different direction with her series which focused on working with double exposures. This is a process where you take multiple photographs, choose two that are somewhat similar, and place them on top of each other to then be developed. It is not until the piece is finished that you know what it will look like, and Lauren enjoys the element of surprise that this process entails. Lauren also said that she likes that the double exposure process requires patience and work, unlike the immediate results of digital photography.


This night of the Silver Lining opening was special— guests got to witness the rekindling of the lost art of film photography, and see the unique passion each student has. The event staff, artists, and guests were incredibly friendly, and it made for a very enjoyable evening.


Future editions of this course can be consulted at the FUA academic schedule.

Written in the Stars

Written in the Stars

By Hannah Hayes & Leah Greenberg

Photo by Authors


On Thursday, February 15th, the works of four students were showcased in “Written In the Stars,” an exhibit presented by the Florence University of the Arts’ Advanced Filmmaking class in the Corrido Fiorentino of Corso Tintori 21. The students’ original films were presented while complementary aperitivo was served by the FUA School of Hospitality. Diverse attendees including FUA faculty, students, and local community members gathered to enjoy the student works. The director of experiential learning at FUA stated he was thrilled to see such a good turnout, and appreciates the community’s support.


The assignment: to write and film the opening credits for a fictional movie of the student’s own design. The filmmakers each developed an interpretation of the prompt and portrayed their unique storytelling styles. “It was not an easy proposal, but I’m really pleased with the results,” said class instructor Roberto Fassone.


Tiffany Cline, like many of the students, drew inspiration for her film from her experiences in Florence, but differentiated her piece by framing the opening scenes as though they were being viewed through an iPhone. Her self-inspired work, titled A Girl in Firenze, depicts the beginning of a girl’s journey of self-discovery in Florence. As is true with many artistic projects, her final product came out differently than the original plan, but Tiffany is happy with her decisions in the filmmaking process.


Olivia Weber used a personal story for her film. Her project, To Be Together, tells the harrowing true story of her grandparents’ journey when they fell in love in a Holocaust internment camp, and overcame numerous obstacles to be together. Olivia used only real photos and video clips from her grandparents to tell the emotional story.


Angel Peleaz’s film, Bad Religion, is based off of the Ancient Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. He subverts the original myth’s obsession with an objectification of the female form by making his story about same-sex love. According to Angel, “this film is a combination of what is abstract and what is real to me,” as he explores the shackles of unrequited love.


The opening credits to Taina Dominguez’ More Than Just Us begins with a story of mystery and adventure as four American girls stumble upon portraits of themselves while they explore a museum in Florence. “Part of the story is true,” said Taina. “There are four of us living here studying abroad. We were walking through the Pitti Palace museum and I thought, ‘What if we walked into a room and saw ourselves?’”


“We decided to call the event Written In The Stars because altogether we found that all of the projects were connected by themes of fate and destiny,” said Roberto. All four of the students’ impressive short films were inspired by the filmmakers’ real life experiences, but all four films are also linked by the lack of a narrative conclusion. The viewers are left with a feeling that even as destiny may guide people, the ending is still unknown. “The ending is definitely a question mark,” said Tiffany. “There’s no conclusion - at least not yet. This project has definitely intrigued something new within me.”


Future editions of this course can be consulted at the FUA academic schedule.

Beyond Perception Exhibition

Solo Exhibition: Beyond Perception 

By Katie Weiler



The solo photo exhibition Beyond Perception premiered Thursday, March 14 featuring the exquisite artwork and multidimensional photography of FUA student Donald Blair. In the Corridoio Fiorentino, Blair showcased his personal work and displayed how perception changes by doing so in an interactive way.


The exhibit was held as a result of a class, “Solo Exhibit and Publication of Solo work,” a session II class Blair conducted with FUA photography instructor Marco Gualtieri. “Since I was a very young child I used to love to look through glass. I loved looking at lights, and things of that nature, the way they would bend and warp,” Blair said about his inspiration for the exhibition. 


Blair’s exhibit focused on the bending of light and how when manipulated it provides an alternative reality to the viewer. At the opening of the event, Blair gave attendees various looking glasses that would alter the way they saw artwork in the room. People looked through the different glasses and were pleasantly surprised when they got a glimpse at the various realities through which the exotic art was meant to be seen. 


The bending of the light shared abstract textures in a series of the exhibition. The first of the photos were Stereo Pictures, featuring two copies of the same object, but eye width apart. When looking at the pictures with the naked eye the images of masked faces and colorful fungi were spread over the viewing board. 


“I believe we all hold this mask so we can view reality and to protect ourselves,” Blair said. People watched the art transform before their eyes as the colors and images were bended creating a three-dimensional image when looking through the stereoscope viewing instrument. After seeing the original art with their naked eye, it was only seconds later the images changed into a whole new piece.


The next session shared a myriad of color in pieces that were titled Light on Glass. The pieces hung in the gallery allowed people to see how light reflects differently on the objects Blair photographed. The pieces were smeared with a collection of colors that Blair discovered when playing with the light on the glass. “I want to open people’s minds up to new ideas, new possibilities, new ways of seeing reality, and that is what my art is about,” Blair said. He explains that the way the light bounces off of the surface can portray an alternate reality that exists within our world. 


The last section of Blair’s exhibit shares Hand Messages. These images capture encouraging sayings composed of light which are contrasted on the dark portraits of hands. To collect the messages, people wrote positive notes and then Blair transformed them into a display of pieces in his photography repertoire. This part of the exhibit was an extension of his honors thesis, which he calls the atomic love bomb. “An atomic bomb radiates negative energy, the love bomb radiates positive energy,” he said. By compiling positive messages for people of the future, Blair hopes to turn these notes into a book and donate the money to a non-profit for promotion of love and peace through the arts. 


Blair has traveled the world and is inspired by the differing perspectives he has gained from his experiences. “The human perception is not very strong, we think we understand things, we think we see things, we think we can relate to this world, but our brains are very, very tiny in this infinite universe,” Blair said, “It’s up to us to look beyond our perceptions, beyond reality, to try to get a firmer grasp on the wholeness of everything.” 


Being able to see the artwork displayed in Corso Tintori’s entrance gives visitors a chance to experience a new reality throughout the exhibition’s run. The collection of Blair’s multidimensional photography will run from March 14 through April 11 of 2019 and is open to all FUA faculty, students, staff and visitors of FUA to engage with and experience the art beyond their own perceptions. 

1968 Where Have all the Flowers Gone

1968 Where Have all the Flowers Gone

By Adele Haraughty 

Photo by Claire Buckley


Thursday, December 7th at Corridoio Fiorentino, the student gallery of the Department of Photography of Florence University of the Arts (FUA), opened 1968 Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Reflections on the 1960’s an exhibition featuring students in the Intermediate Digital Photography, Interior Design and Lighting Design classes.


Ceara Thompson, an Intermediate Digital Photography student, talked about her beautiful photographs on iconic characters in the 1960’s. “I wanted to focus on prominent female roles that were extremely inspiring,” Thompson said. Her photographs were from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Belle De Jour. The idea was to show characters that had strong leading roles.


The Intermediate Digital Photography class, taught by Marco Gualtieri, was involved in the FUA 2017 Conference 1968 Where Have all the Flowers Gone? Photos were selected from those who presented for this panel. Intermediate Interior Design, taught by Giulio Vinci, and Lighting Design, taught by Claudio Rodeghiero, students worked together on a Bar Cafeteria project using the theme of the Radical Design movement as inspiration and reinterpretation.


The 1968 Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Reflection on the 1960’s exhibition included a wide variety of photographs. Beginning level courses were also included from the classes of Street Photography, Introduction to Digital Photography, Introduction to Fashion Photography, Introduction to Photography: From Darkroom to Digital, Digital Graphic Illustration and Introduction to Interior Design. It was clear that the students worked extremely hard throughout the semester and it was great to be able to see first-hand what they were able to accomplish.