Shared from the 2/23/2017 American Press eEdition

Solo show ‘No Vacancy’ on display at McNeese

McNeese assistant professor of art Samantha VanDeman will open a solo photography exhibition with a reception 6-8 p.m. today, Feb. 23, in the Grand Gallery of Mc-Neese’s Shearman Fine Arts Annex.

The show, titled “No Vacancy,” features more than 50 photos of deserted hotel interiors taken in New York, Pennsylvania and Alabama and across Europe.

Paying particular attention to color and light, VanDeman said her work “saves the spaces and shows the beauty in what’s left behind.”

VanDeman snapped the series’ first photo in 2009 at the Purple Hotel, a 1960s-era Hyatt outside Chicago slated for demolition.

All of the hotel rooms and lobbies in the show, on exhibit through March 24, were captured just as they were left, with little to no stylistic adjustments.

VanDeman said she looks for ideas by searching photo site Flickr for locations others have documented. She’ll provide an overview of her research process during a talk at the Grand Gallery at 3 p.m. March 15.

VanDeman started as a painter and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Columbia College Chicago. She said she was drawn to photography, though, when she “fell in love with the darkroom and seeing the photos develop.” She concentrated in photography while working on her Master of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

VanDeman has taught art history and photography classes at McNeese since 2015.

VanDeman’s work has been shown internationally, and she was recognized by the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward Emerging Photographer Project.

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