Class of 2020 remarks by Katie McGowan

I love this department. I didn’t initially; like many, I had a hard time adjusting to New York, art school, and distance from friends and family. I was waitlisted before being admitted and lacked a background in darkroom work or what would be considered fine art photography. I suffered from imposter syndrome. Despite this, I learned so much in CHIPS, Digital, and Analog. Sammy and I were always about twenty minutes early for gallery visits and chatted over coffee most Friday mornings waiting for the rest of the class. In Digital, Wafaa showed weekly documentaries of artists we had yet to hear of; the Araki documentary in particular left the class shocked. Analogue with Editha, of course, led me into film photography which I would fall in love with by the time I took Large Format with Tom Drysdale. While freshman year was difficult, sophomore year and working at the cage was fantastic. I annoyed Caleb, met Katerina, and found a love for the technical side of things. At the end of that year, Nina asked me to be her co-editor for ISO magazine, and I agreed without really knowing what I was getting into. This experience became one of my favorites; working as a team to produce magazines against a timeline and budget was stressful but rewarding. Publishing work of our peers, including Ari and Jay, was even more gratifying. The excitement of reaching out to working artists like Zoe Buckman never got old, and the relief at each launch was unreal. I can’t count the number of times I’ve consumed and ordered Pizza Mercato during my time with ISO. As seniors, we all went through the joys of thesis which included a few arguments, but more engaging and helpful critiques. The end of semester review allowed me to see the work of peers in other classes; I wish we could have seen Show 2 go up this semester to see the works of Taylor, Jack, Wenyu, and others. While this collegiate experience didn’t end the way any of us expected, I’m so glad I got to spend four years with you all. I learned so much about photography, relationships, and living as a New Yorker. I will miss everyone here, and I hope to reconvene soon. Thank you