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Gelardin Features Exhibition of Photographs from Spring 2019 Camera Obscura Installation

Painting with light in the darkened Murray Room

On October 29th, an exhibit of photos taken during a special camera obscura installation will be on display in the Gelardin New Media Center. In April 2019, the Murray Conference Room was transformed into a camera obscura, from Latin, meaning, "dark room." Once installed, the view over the Potomac, Keybridge, the Rosslyn skyline and beyond, was projected in many unusual ways onto the walls, ceiling, and people in the room.

The camera obscura has a rich history that spans centuries and multiple cultures. Vermeer used them as part of his painting process. Scientists have used them to observe eclipses. The contemporary artist Abelardo Morell is famous for his camera obscura images taken around the world.

GU students in Art & Art History photography classes installed the camera obscura using aluminum foil and blackout cloth with one small pinhole that let in enough light to create the magical views from the Key Bridge and Rosslyn into the Murray Room. Over the three days that the installation took place, students, teachers, staff, and guests explored the beautiful and somewhat haunting atmosphere created by turning the room into a virtual camera. Activities were sometimes active (workshop, performance, presentation), and sometimes contemplative (spontaneous or guided meditation, yoga, chant, storytelling).

Participating students included: Jillian Aicher, Faye Al Saadoon, Evelyn Boland, Alvaro Carrillo-Sanchez, Healy knight, Kelsey Lawson, Luke Sanders, Brennen Sawicki, Victoria Smith, Ana Corina Balbontin, Rachel Booth, Laura Isaza, Tatiana Meduna Ferre, Zeid Musallam, Julien Strickland. They were in photography classes with Professor Bruce McKaig (Art & Art History Department), who is also a GU alum (MSFS 1986).