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Jim Sienkiewicz's Thoughts on a Major Photo Exhibition

Recent Academy graduate Jim Sienkiewicz attended Photo San Francisco 2006, an annual photographic art exposition which is also one of the most important photo exhibitions for Bay Area photographers.

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He has written some thoughtful and inspiring words that all students would benefit from. If you are a current student or alumnus and you have also had a recent meaningful experience related to your art or to your field, please email us at case@academyart.edu and make your voice heard.

"My recent experience as a participant of the Academy of Art’s presence at the Photo San Francisco 2006 has yielded many insights, some of which may benefit persons selected to be showcased at the event in coming years. It is certain that all of this year’s presenters came away with their own perceptions of the experience, but what follows is my own."

"Photo San Francisco is a 3-day event and I chose to be present for each afternoon’s exhibition. I thought this was important as I had recently graduated and was approaching the event as an opportunity to gain exposure as an emerging fine artist and was looking to stir up interest in my work. I was aware that a person in a similar situation, a recent grad from another bay area art school, had participated in last year’s Photo SF and had been shown in a gallery at 49 Geary within a few months passing. This is an exceptional success story, but one, which encourages me as to the event’s potential for exposure."

"By being there for the entirety of the weekend, I not only developed a thicker skin –as many people simply walk past work they are not priory interested in or aware of- but also learned the importance of promoting the other artists from the school. Because we were not only attempting to generate interest in ourselves, but also in our colleagues, a stronger impression was formed than by simply working alone. Many people were eager to learn about a person’s process or motivation for their imagery, and having acquainted myself with each artist’s work prepared me for engaging such questions."

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"My experience was ultimately a positive one as I was able to speak to many people who were interested in what my contemporaries and I were doing. The last day was the most beneficial as I was approached by an art consultant and introduced to a gallery owner in Los Angeles. These connections have already yielded a show in a couple of months and possibilities for future exhibitions."

"The life of an artist is what you make of it and no one is better at drawing attention to your work than you. Realize that nothing may come of your participation in Photo SF, but that is a certainty if you do not treat it as the important opportunity it can be. At the very least it is nice to be esteemed as representative of what the school considers its best work, and a valuable lesson as to how exhibitions of this nature achieve realization. Good luck."  ---- Jim Sienkiewicz

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