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In my day job, I am a professor and program director of the Environmental Studies Program at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where I have taught since 1994. My training is in environmental fields - energy analysis, regional planning, conflict resolution, and policy; my art resume, by contrast, is only about a year old. A 2002 intensive workshop with Greg Spaid, art professor at Kenyon College, spurred my photographic interests, and helped me refine a fresh way of looking at subjects typically studied through scientific methods: farming techniques, farmland preservation, suburban sprawl, energy dependency, wildlife management, and tourism.

Every day, I teach about ecological challenges we face and solutions to reduce our human impact. But I best connected with my students when I taught a course called “Farmscape: Artistic Perspectives on Farmland Preservation.” We used digital photography to explore obstacles facing farmers, from development pressures and farm product trade to the debt load created by high-input and equipment-intensive agriculture.

Through imagery and interviews, my students and I both came to understand the people, their land, and their stories far better than if we had studied all the best research on utilitarian models for preservation of agrarian land. Now that course is part of the Studio Art curriculum at Denison, and much of my work continues to focus on farmland preservation and sustainable agriculture around the state of Ohio.

AWKAWK

In the past year, I have shown photographs in seven Ohio-based gallery exhibits, participated in five juried shows, earned three awards, and passed the formal jury review process for The Guild of Artists & Artisans.
(Details and full CV available upon request.)

Abram W. Kaplan
February 29th, 2008

Competition Images About Abram Image Gallery