Visual arts department hosts presentation on history of film, photography

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Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

Event will include film screening, book signing and Q&A with documentary director.

Hannah Norman

An Emmy Award-winning photographer and filmmaker will present his latest documentary on the historical changes from darkroom film to digital photography 10:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 120 of the visual arts center.

Harvey Wang, director of “From Darkroom to Daylight,” has 30 years of experience in photography and more than 15 in filmmaking. He has published six books of photography filled with portraits of Americans from all walks of life.

“He is an incredibly generous person, has a good sense of humor, and he’s been so patient with us,” Debra Schafter, visual arts professor said. After only communicating by phone and email, she said, “He’s like someone you like already and you haven’t even met him yet.”

Michael Mehl, director of SAFOTO, organizes a year’s worth of photography events around San Antonio and had contacted Schafter to recommend Wang to screen his new film at this campus. Schafter said the event broadly appeals to students and the public; the shift in photographic technology affects everyone who has ever taken a picture with a digital camera or smartphone.

Schafter said the visual arts lecture program invites successful artists, art historians and critics to lecture on campus to art students. Her art history class will attend the event, along with studio and fine arts photography classes.

“We do it for the students. But when you hear somebody come in with a whole career going, it’s really inspiring,” Schafter said. “There’s a wonderful response to these events.”

Schafter says this campus has a strong fine arts program. These events make up the center of the department.

“We look for people who like to talk to students. We have a very dedicated and enthusiastic student body,” she said. “That’s why we can have events like this and the whole public pays attention to it.”

Wang’s film documents personal interviews with the best-known artists, average individuals and key people in the world of photography. In the film, he provides the pros and cons of both types of photography and artistic techniques. It’s not only educational; it’s a changing art form.

“It in itself is an artwork,” Schafter said of the film based on Wang’s book “From Darkroom to Daylight.” “It is beautifully put together. Poetic. Inspiring. He’s trying to present this transitional period.”

Wang will lead a Q&A session after the movie, which runs about an hour. He also will sign copies of his book, to be sold at the event.

This is the last official event of Fotoseptiembre USA, an international film and photography festival. A second screening of “From Darkroom to Daylight” will follow at 7 p.m. in the Russell Hill Rogers Gallery of the Southwest School of Art’s campus at 1201 Navarro St.

For more information, call 210-486-1042 or visit



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