Arts & Humanities

Photographer Joni Sternbach Visits Utah State University as Visiting Artist

Professional photographer Joni Sternbach, who specializes in 19th century photographic processes, will speak at 5 p.m. in the Utah State University Performance Hall Thursday, Jan. 19.

“Sternbach is one of the leading wet plate collodion photographers in the country,” said Christopher Gauthier, photography professor in USU’s Department of Art and Design. “What makes her unique is how she contextualizes the way things are now by using modern day people, clothes and backgrounds instead of doing historical reproductions like other collodion photographers.”

Wet plate collodion is a 19th century photographic process where the liquid solution, collodion, is poured onto a piece of glass that goes directly into the camera. An image is then captured, exposed and developed while the plate is still wet.

“USU has one of the longest running 19th century photography courses available so it made perfect sense for us to invite Sternbach,” said Gauthier. “Some of the photography students will also have the chance to take a workshop from Sternbach, which will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Sternbach’s photography has taken her to some of the most desolate deserts and prized surf beaches in the world. Her solo exhibition, “SurfLand,” featuring portraits of surfers, is an ongoing venture and has been exhibited at venues such as the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass.

“My picture taking exists in a place where time is slowed down,” said Sternbach. “My methods are deliberate, antiquated and out -of-date because I don’t compete with the speed of the digital world. In return this affords me time; time to engage and interact with my subject and the world in a surprising way.”

Sternbach graduated from the International Center of Photography at New York University with a master of art in photography in 1987. She was part of the adjunct faculty at NYU for more than 20 years and participates as a faculty member at ICP and Center for Alternative Photography workshops teaching wet plate collodion.

The USU event is free and open to the public. For more information contact the CCA Box Office at 435-797-8022.

Related links:

USU Department of Art and Design    

USU Caine College of the Arts

Writer: Rachelle Nielson, 435-797-9203,

Contact: Denise Albiston, 435-797-1500,

'Abbey' a photo by Joni Sternbach

"Abbey," a photo by Joni Sternbach from her “Surfland” exhibition. Sernbach is a guest speaker at Utah State University Thursday, Jan. 19, 5 p.m., USU Performance Hall.

'Chris and Dan' a photo by Joni Sternbach

"Chris & Dan" by Joni Sternbach.


Photography 32stories

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