Marlboro College

News Photography Professor John Willis Awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

Marlboro, VT -- (April 12, 2011) -- Marlboro College is pleased to announce that professor of photography John Willis is a recipient of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, announced on April 7 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Willis was one of 180 scholars, artists and scientists selected this year as fellows from the United States and Canada.  Guggenheim Fellowships are one-time-only grants made for a minimum of six months and a maximum of twelve months, providing a block of time in which fellows can work with as much creative freedom as possible.

With Guggenheim support, Willis says he will continue to work on artistic projects that integrate with his teaching of photography both at Marlboro College and with youth programs with which he is currently involved.

An MFA graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, John Willis has taught at Marlboro since 1991. His photography has been widely exhibited, and is in the permanent collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He describes his photography as "a mix of documentary and human images which comment on the human condition." A full list of collections and exhibitions are available at www.jwillis.net.

In 2010, the Center for American Places published Willis' book, Views from the Reservation, a monograph of photographs and commentary developed in collaboration with people in the Oglala Lakota Sioux community at Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.  Willis is donating all royalties from the book to KILI Radio, Voice of the Lakota Nation.

Previously, Willis and photographer Tom Young co-authored Recycled Realities, a collection of found still-life photographs made from bales of scrap paper on its way to being recycled.

Willis is also co-founder and executive director of the In-Sight Photography Project, in Brattleboro, Vermont, a volunteer program offering free classes for area youth to explore self-expression through photography. Many Marlboro students have contributed over the years as interns at In-Sight.

Through In-sight, Willis established Exposures: Cross Cultural Photographic Journeys for Youth, to share photography lessons and life stories in an effort to expand young people's artistic and cultural horizons.  Currently, the program has classes in Vermont, Chicago and on Pine Ridge Reservation which are sharing an online curriculum. Exposures will offer a three-week exchange program on Pine Ridge Reservation during the summer of 2011. Application information can be found at www.exposuresprogram.org.

For images and more information, contact the Marlboro College public relations office at 802-251-7644 or pr@marlboro.edu.

Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and master's degree and certificate programs for working adults in the areas of educational technology, internet technologies, health care administration, nonprofit management and an MBA in Managing for Sustainability. Its 330 undergraduate students enjoy an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 300-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont.

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