A senior student in the Division of Art and Design has had her work accepted into a prestigious regional exhibit focused on the work of young artists.

Two photographs by Kes Stefanik-Houde are among those included in the 43rd Annual Photo Regional Youth Spotlight Exhibit at Opalka Gallery at Russell Sage College in Albany, New York. An opening event for the exhibition is scheduled on Tuesday, April 6, at 7 p.m., via Zoom. The exhibit continues through April 24.

The images are titled “Identity Crisis: Kes” and “Identity Crisis: Eiden.” For each of the images, Stefanik-Houde printed two copies of the same photograph onto watercolor paper, then cut pieces out of the top layer photo and shifted the layer below it to make the images have abstract appearances.

Stefanik-Houde says the inspiration for her work stemmed from a series of photos she created in November of 2020 centered around identity. For the series, she says, “I took photographs of myself and two people I know who have experiences with changes and challenges with their identities. Especially during 2020, identity was something that changed and challenged all three of us, as well as everyone else around the world.”

Opalka Gallery Director Judie Gilmore said that the show is designed to provide a space to celebrate the region’s young photographers and offer them an opportunity to showcase their work alongside their peers. The exhibit shows what they are seeing, what stories they are telling, and what images they are capturing and have created in the current unprecedented times, Gilmore adds.

Stefanik-Houde is majoring in Fine Art Photography and has minors in Studio Art and History. She is from West Coxsackie, New York.

Anita Welych, art professor, said of her student, “We're very proud of her accomplishment and her initiative in entering this year during a busy semester.”

Information about the exhibit, including a link for the opening reception, is available on the gallery’s website.


(Banner image features “Identity Crisis: Eiden” and “Identity Crisis: Kes” by Kes Stefanik-Houde)