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A View from the Inside Out

A View from The Inside Out, a diagram of a man using a camera obscura with a giant eyeball where the lens would be

From April 1 - 3, Georgetown students in Art & Art History photography classes will transform the Lauinger Library's Murray Room into a camera obscura, from Latin, meaning, "dark room." Once installed, the view over the Potomac, Key Bridge, the Rosslyn skyline and beyond, will project – upside-down and backward – over 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.

Georgetown students in Art & Art History photography classes will undertake the installation, as well as explore the many ways the experience is a unique photo opportunity for visitors and guests. The contributing students are currently enrolled in Intro to Darkroom Photography and Intro to Digital Photography. The project is being led by Professor Bruce McKaig, who has been teaching at Georgetown since 2004 and is a Georgetown alumnus (MSFS ’86).

Teachers, students, organizations and guests are welcome to be part of the experience over the three days it is installed. The time can be active, for instance holding a workshop, performance, presentation, or contemplative, like a spontaneous or guided meditation session, yoga class, or storytelling. You are also invited to come into the space to create your own artwork inspired by this special experience. Your video, audio, photography, and mixed media pieces created during this event can be submitted to the Library’s first floor gallery and/or our online Showcase. All who participate will be invited to submit works for the show. Reach out to Professor Bruce McKaig if you would like to get involved!

All are welcome to join for the following events:

Monday, April 1
9:30 am – 2:00 pm: Installation and photography
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm: Opening Reception
The reception will begin with magic tricks—illusions—then a few words on vision and perception, as well as a musical performance. Then the lights in the room will be dimmed and guests will be able to watch the outside evening scene illuminate the room. The reception will include numerous photo opportunities and cameras, tripods etc. will be on hand for guests who want to try their hand at taking photos.

Tuesday, April 2

8:00 am - 9:00 am: Yoga Class Hosted By Yates Field House (participants are encouraged to bring their own mats)
After 9:00 am: Open Time – Professor McKaig will staff the room before sunrise and past sunset for individuals and groups who want to participate in activities. Easels will be available for any who would like to draw or paint the projections.

Wednesday, April 3
9:30 am – 12:00 pm: Photography
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Photography and De-Installation

The three days will be live streamed as well for guests who can’t join in person.