September 09, 2011

Alumnus photographer and author to visit SIUC

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Award-winning photographer and author Carl Corey will share insights into his career next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

For Corey, a 1976 graduate of SIUC’s Department of Cinema and Photography, the visit not only marks his first return to campus since then but an opportunity to give students a chance to have their work critiqued.

Corey will give a projected presentation of his new book, “Tavern League,” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library.  Admission is free, and the public is welcome to attend.

Corey will also be in residence offering individual critiques of students’ work from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15, and participate in a digital printing seminar from 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16.  The critiques and seminar will be in Communications Building, room 1101.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the visiting artist lecture and associated workshops and seminar by Carl Corey.  For more information, contact the Department of Cinema & Photography at 618/453-2365 or Professor Daniel Overturf by email at

Corey is visiting at the invitation of Gary P. Kolb, dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Corey is the recipient of more than 100 awards, including the New York Art Directors Club, Communication Arts, and Print Annual.  Kolb said he is “particularly taken with a number of his regional documentary projects such as ‘Wisconsin Tavern League’ and ‘On Ice’.”

“He has amassed an impressive body of work and our students will benefit from the opportunity to interact and learn form him,” Kolb said.

Corey said he is looking forward to returning and has fond memories of his time in the college.  Corey earned his associates degree in graphic design at Northern Illinois University and a former professor recommended he transfer to SIUC because of a belief that Corey showed promise as a photographer.

Corey said SIUC students “were given encouragement to think on our own and gain a command of the medium that became second nature allowing us to focus on content.”

“I adhere to that philosophy to this day,” he said.

Walter Metz, chair of the Department of Cinema  & Photography, said he’s pleased Corey is returning to meet with students and share his experiences and expertise.

“Mr. Corey’s far-ranging art work -- from local studies of Wisconsin culture to a project on national monuments -- will inspire our students, and I am delighted he will be joining us for a few days next week.”

Much of Corey’s work focuses on what many people would easily pass by, such as a roadside stand.  Corey said his work centers on “things and people that define our cultural identity.”

“I want people to be aware of this identity and think about who they are,” he said.

Corey also said he is very honest with students when working with them and offering critiques of their work.  He recalls a time in 1979 when he was first starting out and an art director in Chicago told him some of his pictures were okay, “but no better than many others he could get and not as good as some.”  While the assessment was depressing, Corey said the art director continued to encourage him to return with work that was unique.  Corey said it is the best critique he ever received.

“I feel there is no value to a critique if the truth is held back,” he said.  “I want to see the students’ best work; pictures that reflect their voice as an artist.  Bodies of work are always preferred to random work with no continuity.  I want to see pictures they feel a need to make.”

Corey said he enjoys working with students and gives him an opportunity to “give back” to the profession.

“If I reach one person and give them the motivation to persevere in the arts then it is worth it,” he said.

Corey’s visit is possible through the SIUC Student Fine Arts Activity Fee.