November 26, 2012

Students show communities through photos

by Jordan Wren

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Local communities and people throughout Southern Illinois set the stage for an upcoming photo exhibit at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The collection of photographs is part of a “Small Town Documentary” course taught by Daniel Overturf, a professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography.

The students’ work is part of an exhibit that begins today (Nov. 26) and runs through Dec. 8 in the north wing of the Communications Building.  An opening reception will be from 4 to 6 p.m. today.

Fifteen students in the cinema and photography program spent a semester collaborating with area residents from the chosen communities.  The students “shared their experiences and hundreds of prints with myself and invited guests and ‘Small Town’ class alumni Sam Copeland, John Corson, Laura Partain and Lee Buchsbaum,” Overturf said.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to attend the exhibition reception. For more information on the project contact Daniel Overturf, Department of Cinema and Photography, at 618/453-1487, or by email at

This is the eighth, semester-long “Small Town Documentary” course Overturf has taught since the biennial course began in 1996. A Flickr site that features photos from previous classes is at

The communities that comprise the 2012 project are Ava, Buncombe, Cave-In-Rock, Cobden, Crainville, De Soto, Equality, Evansville, Makanda, North Cairo, Old Shawneetown, Ruma, Vienna, Whiteash and Willisville.  

“Small Town Documentary continues to be a most unique and enriching teaching experience,” Overturf said.  “I watch the students evolve as photographers while they learn about life beyond themselves.”