Durham College (DC) graduate Stephanie Foden has been recognized for finding art from behind the camera.
The 2011 graduate of Media Art and Design’s (MAD) Print and Broadcast Journalism program, has won the Emerging Photographer Award at this year’s Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) Exposed photography exhibition and auction on November 12. The award prize is a solo exhibition at the Oshawa gallery during the Contact Photography Festival in May. She also won the Community Choice Award as voted on by attendees of RMG Exposed.
Foden said the college’s programs, resources and staff enabled her to explore many facets of media work. “I had some wonderful profs in my first and second years, such as Brian Legree (Journalism) and Gerry Rose (retired, Journalism professor and program coordinator).” She especially credits her third-year broadcast professor, Anna Rodrigues, for inspiring her to progress as a professional. “She’s a very innovative teacher and is always looking for new media and different forms of storytelling,” said Foden.
“With an open mind, I explored each field of journalism. I easily took to photography more than anything else. The ability to rent equipment and explore this possible career option helped my decision.”
In her third year, she focused on photojournalism learning valuable skills such as blogging, social media and how to integrate different forms of media into her storytelling. “I also learned more about being a documentarian and long-form storytelling, which I enjoy more than anything,” explained Foden, adding that she also enjoyed her college field placement at Canadian Geographic in Ottawa. “They had me working on incredible stories for both the magazine and multimedia for their website. After the internship they sent me on assignment and it was an amazing way to start my career off.”
Following graduation, she was hired as the managing editor of Downtown Oshawa News (DON). DON was developed by Rodrigues with funding from DC’s research and innovation funds as a project-based learning experience for journalism students.
Foden is currently planning her solo exhibition for the RMG in the spring, and is working on a personal project in Brazil. “I hope to continue to progress as a photojournalist, both working on personal work and assignments.”
Her RMG awards are an example of the valuable community relationship the gallery and the college have. “As a former associate dean of MAD and this year’s Chair of RMG Exposed, I was particularly pleased with Stephanie’s award-winning work,” said Charlotte Hale.
DC has been a sponsor of the RMG Exposed event for seven years. Students in the Fine Arts – Advanced program in the School of Media, Art & Design are given memberships and use the gallery for research and exhibitions throughout the year. Students also connect with local young artists, writers, photographers and musicians at RMG Fridays, in which live music, interactive art and social networking occur each month.