This Fall the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) completed construction on the Alice Chaiten Baker Interdisciplinary Gallery, a groundbreaking space for programming, education, and exhibition. This addition marks the first physical expansion of CCP’s on-site gallery space in over 20 years.
The Alice Chaiten Baker Interdisciplinary Gallery will enrich how CCP engages the public with photography, both in person and online; advances boundary-shifting art practices, research, and thinking; and models new directions for developing and presenting photographic collections. Working closely with diverse voices, representations, practices, and histories is at the core of CCP’s commitment to interdisciplinary exchange.
The vision behind the 2,131-square-foot gallery is to demonstrate the impact of how photography innovates, resonates, and interconnects with other disciplines and mediums, while responding to the world around us.
“Over the past three years, CCP has expanded its initiatives in photographic education to be more accessible, collaborative, and community-minded,” said Anne Breckenridge Barrett, the director of the Center and associate vice president for the arts at the University of Arizona.
The gallery is spacious and open with signature concrete columns and a retractable glass wall, providing a flexible site for multiple types of activities, experiences, and conversations. The inaugural years of the gallery will be dedicated to exploring the immense questions of our time through photography:
- How do we attend to historical reckoning?
- Can the arts help envision a more just and sustainable future?
- How do we nurture social healing?
- Do images shape lives, and the arts bring about far-reaching change?
The gallery is named in recognition of Tucson philanthropist and art patron Alice Chaiten Baker. It honors her love of photography and long relationship with the CCP. The transformative gift supported the gallery’s renovation and CCP’s opportunity to bring to life an interactive approach to learning about photography.
“I consider the Center for Creative Photography a community treasure,” said Baker. “Its unique collection and mission has inspired me and is something I’m happy to support. I believe the interdisciplinary role of this gallery will deeply engage audiences on campus and in the community for years to come.”
To celebrate the gallery’s realization, CCP is presenting its first interdisciplinary exhibit in digital form: Photojournalism 20/20: A Think Tank for an Unimaginable Present, now available on the CCP Interactive app.
Photojournalism 2020, reimagined as an in-progress think tank, combines photographs, lectures, essays, and journals drawn from the Center’s collection. This exhibition studies photojournalism at this historical junction in 2020 with the latest about 2020 from mainstream news outlets, social media platforms, and thought leaders on photography-related topics.
Regarding the challenge of opening a new space in 2020, Breckenridge Barrett acknowledged “While COVID is keeping visitors from our galleries, our staff were not deterred from mounting this important, timely exhibition, making it available for everyone on our app. We hope to welcome visitors on site in 2021 to enjoy the exhibition in this new, exciting space when it is safe to do so.”
About the Center for Creative Photography
The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona is recognized as one of the world’s finest academic art museums and study centers for the history of photography. The Center was co-founded in 1975 by University President John Schaefer and Ansel Adams. The collection began with the archives of five living master photographers—Adams, Wynn Bullock, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer—and has grown to include 270 archival collections, including well-known 20th century North American photographers as Lola Álvarez Bravo, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Weston, David Hume Kennerly, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and Garry Winogrand. Altogether there are over eight million archival objects in the Center’s collection including negatives, work prints, contact sheets, albums, scrapbooks, correspondence, writings, audiovisual materials and memorabilia. In addition, the Center also actively acquires individual photographs by modern and contemporary photographers. There are currently more than 100,000 works by over 2,200 photographers. Visit CCP online.
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