Constructing Portraits

Join Alumni Resident Rachel Stern in blending sculpture and photography to create sensational, transformative, and allegorical portraiture. Considering our isolation during the pandemic, we will develop techniques and strategies to use domestic materials to create lighting and set design for conceptual portraiture. The course will include lectures on the contemporary and historical context of this type of photography while focusing on construction for the camera and tricks of perspective as our means for transformative image-making. Throughout the four sessions of this course each participant will design, build, and photograph one constructed portrait (or self-portrait!).

Date: This online workshop will meet weekly on Thursday, February 4, 11, 18, 25 from 7-9pm ET via Zoom.

Price: $100

Audience: Open to all.

Materials: Participants will be responsible for gathering supplies. Suggested supplies include: cell phone camera, DSLR, or mirrorless digital camera; white foam core sheet (any size); household mirrors, lamps, flashlights, etc.; silver clip lights (can be found at Home Depot); various props, fabric, costume, makeup (you can use the things you already have or start to collect items if you have an idea of what you want your picture to look like)

Rachel Stern is a photographer whose work considers the intersection of beauty and power. Using quotidian and kitsch materials she creates images which enter into an accessible discourse and, in the spirit of “bread and roses,” demand immediate access to beauty. Her work is a kitsch paradise, a queer-washed history, and an attempt at hope. She received her BFA in Photography and the History of Art and Visual Culture in 2011 from the Rhode Island School of Design, attended Skowhegan in 2014, and graduated from Columbia University in 2016 with an MFA in Visual Arts.

Please note, this online workshop will begin promptly at the listed start time. In order to ensure the quality of instruction for all participants, late entry will not be permitted. For questions, please contact