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Photographer of the Year and Annual Student Work Exhibition Opens Aug. 17 at Prairie State College Christopher Art Gallery

Photographer of the Year and Annual Student Work Exhibition Opens Aug. 17 at Prairie State College Christopher Art Gallery [08/12/2015]

Photographer of the Year
A selection of works from Prairie State College (PSC) Photographer of the Year honoree Annabelle Mullennix of Matteson will be on display from Monday, Aug. 17, through Thursday, Sept. 10, during the Annual Photographer of the Year and Student Exhibition in the Christopher Art Gallery on the college’s main campus, located at 202 S. Halsted St. in Chicago Heights.

An artists’ reception is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 26, in the gallery.

The Photographer of the Year award is given annually to an outstanding PSC photography student. In addition to being the featured artist in the student show, Mullenix also will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Mullennix began pursuing a photography degree at PSC in 2004. Since that time, she says it has been “a long road with many ups and downs along the way.” In 2008, she took a hiatus from her education. The necessity of working two jobs left her little time to focus on artwork. She returned to PSC in 2012, “determined to finish her degree so that she may continue on to bigger things,” she said.

She has had her work on display at local Starbucks, though her work can be most commonly found hanging on the walls of the homes of various family members. In 2013, she was chosen to participate in the Illinois Skyway Juried Art Competition. In addition, she was asked in 2014 to be a “plus one” for the PSC Graduate Students Exhibition. She plans to graduate with her associate degree next spring and continue on with her education.

Gallery Director Beth Shadur said Mullenix was chosen for the honor by the Photography Club from submitted portfolios. She will be showing photographs that look at trees, rocks and other elements of nature, taken from her time spent travelling the state.

“Her observations range from closely focused details to longer vistas,” Shadur said. “She is fascinated with the continuous cycle of life that allows the death of one element to continue the life of another element. Mullennix is interested in viewing that continuity through trees that, as they die, feed insects and birds, fungus and other living entities. She works to compose her photographs through lights and darks that allow us to see something we might not otherwise notice.

“Her works draw us close with their detail and love of the natural,” Shadur added.

The annual student exhibition also will include works from various classes during the 2014-2015 academic year, and have been chosen by the fine art faculty members. Works include photographs, paintings, drawings and three dimensional works.

Additional PSC students who will have their work highlighted during the show include Carl Kenneth Sago of Sauk Village; Kenya Moffett Garner of Glenwood; Carol Bruns and Tyler Kelly of Beecher; Dean Coy, Caitlin Gerritsen, Amy Roesch and Alex Rosales of Chicago Heights; Diamond Jones, Melinda Arce Gudino and Robert Villarreal of Homewood; Ryan Bennett, Vanessa Marie Guzman, Stephan Johnson and Anthony Manson of Park Forest; Lawrence Davis III of University Park; Nickyle Edwards of Flossmoor; Alexandria Reed of Calumet City; and William Billingsley of Matteson.

The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. Visits also can be made by appointment. For more information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, call (708) 709-7738.