Meet Photography Instructor Rene West

By Nikki Larkan

Students looking to enter the photography field will become familiar with Rene West.

Rene West, a photography instructor, is in her fourth year at Amarillo College.

West is in her fourth year as a photography instructor in the Amarillo College visual arts department. Previously, she was a lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington.

She instructs an array of photography classes, including Advanced Photography, Expressive Photography and History of Photography. West said students make better pictures and have a better appreciation for photography after taking her classes.

“Rene is definitely passionate about what she is teaching,” said Ashley Miller, a photography major and West’s lab assistant. Miller said students also learn to have a better respect for the history of photography from West.

“We teach a solid technical foundation for them,” West said.

Students with any major can join AC’s Photography Club and work with her. She and Brent Cavanaugh, who also teaches photography, co-sponsor the organization. The group meets in the photography studio at 5 p.m. (WHAT DAY?) in 319 Parcells Hall.

Another organization West works with is Camera Clubhouse, a project to teach photography to fourth and fifth graders at San Jacinto Elementary School. The outreach program gives elementary students their own cameras and teaches the fundamentals of photography. The group meets every other Friday at the elementary school.

West did a presentation about Joel Meyerowitz on Nov. 8. The presentation covered the early career of Meyerowitz, whose “Aftermath” project is on display at the Amarillo Museum of Art through Dec. 31. The exhibit includes Meyerowitz’s photos from Ground Zero following the 9/11 attacks.

West also collaborates to bring artists to visit AC students.

“Every year, I propose to bring in an artist, a new inspiration to expand their community and their network,” she said. “It just expands their possibilities.”

West said students should see photography as more than just an elective.

“Do it to have fun, to take better pictures,” she said.

To see any of West’s art, visit For more information on the Camera Clubhouse, go to


Published: Friday, November 18, 2011


1 Comment

  1. to Rene West: do you know who might be interested in buying my olympus stylus 7040 camera–14 mega pixels

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