They are all around us, held up by magnets on our fridge, placed in a decorative frame for all to see and even carried conveniently in the storage space of our phones. They are our favorite pictures of people, places or moments frozen in time, captured as a means to look back and reflect upon.
Spring of 2012, the Boise State department of art selected two upper-division students to receive the Brian P. Meier Photography Scholarship to help them pay for their fall semester classes. Each student had to embody outstanding and promising photographic skills as well as display academic merit through their studies. These students were Marvin Schwenk, senior visual arts major and senior photography major Maria Garth.
According to Schwenk, his favorite photograph is the one he has not yet taken.
Schwenk said he developed his passion for photography roughly eight years ago when he was inspired by photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Timothy O’Sullivan, John Muir and Alfred Stieglitz. Through their journeys and rousing ideas, Schwenk said he was stimulated to find his own story through the lens of his Canon 30D.
With this ambition in mind, he is earning his bachelor of fine arts in visual art with an emphasis in photography and aspires to use his infatuation for photography through a variety of work including magazines and architecture.
“What inspires me is the light,” Schwenk said. “The right light coming from planet earth can tell a story and encapsulate an emotional response to all sorts of history and beauty.”
His creative mindset and desire to capture the ideal lighting helped him to receive the Brian P. Meier Photography Scholarship this past year.
Along with Schwenk, Garth was selected as a recipient of the Brian P. Meier Photography Scholarship for her series of self-portraits.
“I’m very grateful for having gotten it,” Garth said in response to recieving her scholarship. “It can be hard with photographs, but it’s just an intuitive connection that you have with the work.”
Garth said she has always done art and was aware of photography from classes she took through high school and college. She did not decide to major in photography until two years ago after trying other art majors and found photography was the one she most enjoyed. She found photography fit her personality best because it expresses her vision and ideas.
Garth prefers to do much of her art in the presence of the dark room because she has an appreciation for the equipment and enjoys having the ability to obtain more freedom and experiment through analog photography.
“A lot of schools are phasing out dark rooms and analogue photography so I think it’s nice that we still have all of the equipment and it’s still possible to replicate all of the processes,” Garth said. “I just like the way the film looks; it looks very different from digital. It’s something with the grain and the quality of an image being on a negative rather than pixels.”
Upon graduation, Garth would like to further her education through graduate school and work as a commercial photographer specializing in fashion.
“I’m looking at several graduate schools in New York. I think New York is the heart of it all,” Garth said.