Photo lecture showcases portraitist

By Autumn Harbison

It’s not every day that students get to see works that have been featured in the Museum of Modern Art, much less meet their artists, but the UK Art Museum is offering students that chance.

Judith Joy Ross will be speaking at 4 this afternoon in the Worsham Theater of the Student Center. Today’s event is part of the 11th-annual Robert C. May Photography Endowment Lecture Series.

Ross, whose work has been exhibited in both the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, works in a way that is accessible to the community, said Janie Welker, curator of exhibitions at the UK Art Museum. Welker said she first met Ross while the artist was taking photographs to display at a YMCA.

Welker said Ross will probably talk about her most recent work photographing protests against the Iraq War but that she hoped Ross would also discuss her earlier work.

“It’s interesting to me that she’s done a lot of work with children,” Welker said. “There’s something so honest and open about her work with children. I hope she talks about that.”

A collection of Ross’ black and white portraits depicting war protesters opened at the UK Art Museum on Jan. 11.

“It’s not people who are famous or people who are on television,” said Welker. “These aren’t people who are used to being photographed. She uses an eight-by-ten camera so it’s not like she sneaks up on them.”

Welker described Ross’ portraiture as having a calm, meditative feeling.

“There’s something about it that draws you in,” Welker said.

Today’s lecture is free and open to the public. Ross’ collection will be at the Art Museum through March 9.