Student photography displayed in Schuster Gallery through April 5


Photographs taken near and far are currently on display at Schuster Gallery, located on the first floor of the Center for Communication and the Arts. Familiar spots, such as AJ’s Way and the Bayfront, are juxtaposed with striking images from across the country and around the world.
The concrete jungle of downtown Chicago, the majestic plains of Yellowstone National Park and the ruins of Xunantunich all make appearances.
Friendly human faces and animal forms also pop up in the collection.
These seemingly disparate photographs all encapsulate the theme of this year’s student photography competition: “Visual Gifts, Home and Abroad”.
The competition is held annually to celebrate the importance of international education. Both global and domestic students were encouraged to submit up to three pieces exploring the theme.
Over 100 submissions were received and 25 were chosen to appear in the showcase.
Santosh Bhusal, a junior accounting major and talented photographer, has three pieces in the show. The photographs were taken in his home country of Nepal over winter break. Two are close-up portraits of grinning, mud-splattered children and the third is a serene town at sunset.
“In January, I returned home to Nepal following 2 1/2 years and I saw this gathering of children playing around in the mud,” Santosh said.
“In those two portraits, I endeavored to catch their moment of joy; that is the reason I titled these pictures ‘They See Magic in Everything.’ Their reality is so constrained, but they were the most joyful spirits I saw during my winter get-away.
“I snapped the photo [of the town] during sunset when I was visiting my great grandma. Nepal is hypnotizing, and the beautiful houses in the image are traditional Nepali homes. I endeavored to capture the magnificence of the landscape so that whenever I see the image, it would help me remember my home.”
Maria Hays, a senior English major, steals the show with an adorable photo of her golden retriever Zeus.
“It’s one of my favorite photos that I’ve taken because the sun shining through the window streaks across his face and catches his hair,” she said. “I also love the way he is laying, with his paws angled outward and his reflection in the hardwood floor.
“I called the photograph ‘Sunday’ because it reminds me of what home feels like on a Sunday afternoon: relaxing and watching movies, with my dogs sleeping at my feet.
“I was really proud of it, so when my professor, Lori Steadman, told us to submit photos [to the competition], I was excited. I never expected it to actually be selected for the showcase, let alone receive an honorable mention! Seeing others at the showcase enjoying my photo and complimenting it made me really proud and excited.”
The showcase runs until April 5.
Stop by the Gallery from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday to peek into the lives of your talented peers and reflect on your own experiences of home and travel.

[email protected]