Mississippi State art professor selected for international exhibition

Three stems with flowers laying in a pool of water.
"Developed Work" by Marita Gootee.

Mississippi State University Department of Art Professor Marita Gootee's recent series “Last Contact” was accepted into the 2021 International Photography Fellowship Competition’s Developed Work exhibition hosted by the Midwest Center for Photography (MWCP).   

Developed Work will feature current and relevant work of international photographers that help define the pulse of contemporary photography in the world. This exhibition has become established as the premier exhibition at MWCP for featuring some of the most important creative photographic work of the year.  

“Competition for Developed Work is based upon a thematically developed body of work,” the Midwest Center for the Arts said. “Selected photographers will demonstrate successful representation of working with a concept and developing it into a solid framework resulting in a thematically developed body of photographic work.”  

Gootee, who serves as the coordinator for the photography concentration in the Department of Art, is one of 19 fine art photographers selected for this international exhibition.  

“What is exciting about this exhibition,” Gootee said, “is that it's based on the body of work rather than just a single image.”  

"Last Contact" is a new body of work that developed out of Gootee’s concern for climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The "Last Contact" series takes a piece of a living plant through a journey to decay. The imagery is created by being trapped and exposed to nature with no escape, just as the subject caught within the contact frame.  

“The photographic process used is called Lumen,” Gootee said. “The images are lumen photograms, which are created by exposing objects in direct contact with traditional photographic paper that have been exposed to daylight between hours to months. Please note that no chemicals are involved in my lumen process.”  

Gootee said the prints are scanned and preserved digitally. The original is stored in a light-safe box, and in time the imprint will fade.  

Her work will be displayed at the Midwest Center for Photographic Arts from Nov. 5-26. The opening reception will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 5. The MWCP Gallery is located at 1215 Franklin Street, Wichita, Kansas. The work will also be displayed on the MWCP website: www.mwcponline.com. 

By Lauren Skelton via Marita Gootee | Mississippi State University

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 5:24 pm