By Brandan Waldrop:
Bob Hirsh, an instructor at Amarillo College from 1977 to the early 1990s, will be coming back to AC Oct.26 and 27 to give a speech about his work and his recollections of when he first started teaching at the college 40 years ago.
Hirsh wrote many of the textbooks used in photography classes across the nation. He also founded the Southern Light Gallery, which is located in the Ware Student Commons on the first floor. Currently, photographs Hirsch took 40 years ago are on display in this gallery in preparation for his presentation at AC.
Rene West, a photography assistant professor and present-day curator of the Southern Light Gallery, made Hirsch’s visit possible. “We were talking on Facebook casually, and we realized it was nearly the gallery’s 40th year anniversary, so I said, wouldn’t it be cool if you came to campus, and he replied let’s make it happen,” West said. “I applied for an Art Force grant to bring him in, received it and he’s coming,” West added enthusiastically.
Hirsch will be discussing his motivation for starting the gallery. He will also address his famous exhibit, “A World in a Jar,” which takes a look at the history of suffering and famine around the world, and will discuss how his work ties to the themes expressed in this year’s AC Common Reader, “The Things They Carried.”
During the visit to Amarillo, Hirsch will also speak to photography students. Elizabeth Beckham, an art major who recently completed her photography degree and also works as a photography program lab assistant, has seen Hirsch speak before. “He makes you get personal, making you touch your nose to the glass and engage with his pictures,” she said.
Hirsch will honored at a reception from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at the Southern Light Gallery. After the reception, Hirsch will deliver a free public lecture at 7 p.m. in the College Union Building’s Oak Room. He will speak to AC photography at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, in Parcells Hall, room 314.