Center frame

Anulak Singphiphat

From unexposed film to a fully functional work of art, San Diego City College’s new photography facility has the makings to become the hub of everything photographic in San Diego.

The Photography department had a successful grand opening show in the new photography gallery, Luxe on Sept. 24. More than three hundred guests attended the first City College Faculty Photography Exhibit, “far more than anticipated,” said David Eichinger, photography instructor and co-chair. “I was very impressed. Really high class work,” said Teresa White, a first year photography student, “this gallery adds so much to the city, it is something to brag about.”

The faculty photography exhibit is expected to be an annual event and is the first of many planned exhibits for the new gallery space in the Career Technology Center.

“We decided to do a faculty show because it was the quickest to get the pieces together,” said Eichinger.

All of the preparation work for the faculty exhibit was done without funding. There is no gallery director at the time, but Eichinger is hoping for one soon. The faculty even framed all of their own photographs.

The photography club was able to raise over $300 in donations in a drawing for one of the photos on display.

There are also plans to exhibit students’ and other local artists’ works after the closing of the faculty exhibit.

The main goal of the gallery is “to showcase the students’ photography,” said Eichinger. That was what Eichinger and David King had in mind when planning began for the new building in 2005.

Now, five years after its conception, the photography department has two floors that houses three studios with two shooting areas each. That means six students are able to utilize the new studio spaces and lighting equipment at any given time.

The photo department also has thre darkrooms, digital photo labs, eight film-loading rooms, a film processing room and even lockers for the students. “Some of the students miss the old [building] because it felt more homey, but they have a new, clean space and a lot of equipment to use,” said Tamika G., a temporary lab technician lending a hand from the cosmetology department.

“The students are in heaven,” said Eichinger, “the old building was cramped and dingy.”

Eichinger also said that, with meetings held in the new facility with professional organizations like the ASMP and PPA, the City College photography facility will be the center of focus for photography in the area.

City Photography is also working with the Museum of Photographic Arts to offer workshops and will be hosting the Society for Photographic Education West 2010 Regional Conference. The conference is set to take place Nov. 12-13.

With a student photography exhibit being planned to take place sometime in the spring the new photo facility seems to be a great addition the campus.

For more information on the San Diego City College Photography Department, please visit