Penn State Greater Allegheny alumnus, Jim Crowley grew up loving photography. In fact, since the age of 10, he started taking photos in what he refers to as a ?snapshot documentary? style. He would photograph activities of his life - including family, friends, and events. As he grew older, his wife and three children have helped to expand his repertoire of subjects and the events from his life?s journey. These days, he ?hardly goes anywhere without some type of camera,? said Crowley.
Photography continued to be a very serious hobby for Crowley and he joined the Harrisburg Camera Club (HCC) to try and gain a new photographic perspective. ?Through my experiences at HCC, the digital competitions, print critiques, guest speakers, and gallery shows, I have learned a tremendous amount and now find myself looking at photography more from a fine art perspective,? said Crowley.
Crowley submitted three of his photos in response to a call for entries for the Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2012 Exhibition, and one of his entries, entitled ?Abandoned Gymnasium? was selected. Along with winning 2nd place in the photography category, it was selected for purchase by the Director of the State Museum for inclusion into the museum?s permanent collection. ?It seems that I have secured a permanent place in Pennsylvania?s art legacy,? said Crowley.
The winning photo was taken at the J.W. Cooper School located in Shenandoah, Pa. The school was first used as a temporary hospital and morgue during the flu epidemic of 1918. In 1919, it finally opened as Shenandoah High School and was later renamed to the J.W. Cooper School. In the early 1980s, the school closed for a short period for asbestos removal and in 1986, it was replaced by a new facility.
The second place cash prize of $300 was awarded by Art of the State, to Crowley who donated the amount to ABSENCE, Penn State Greater Allegheny?s Literary & Visual Art Review.
Clifford Manlove, associate professor of English at Greater Allegheny and adviser to ABSENCE, was happy to receive the news from Crowley. ?It is my hope that work from alums will serve as an inspiration for our current students, reminding them that art should remain an important part of their lives and that they can make a living from it,? said Manlove. ?Jim?s donation to ABSENCE will help with next year?s production and paper costs.?
?Abandoned Gymnasium? was later submitted and won a 1st place award in the Harrisburg Camera Clubs Digital Image of the Year Competition.
Crowley?s photos were also accepted in a blind review by the student editors of ABSENCE and published in the 2011 and 2012 editions of the campus? literary and visual arts review.