The works of Texas A&M University Corpus Christi’s first Master of Fine Arts graduate will be highlighted in the photographic exhibition “Crossing Borders” from Friday, Nov. 5 through Tuesday, Nov. 30 at the Locket Gallery in the Art Center of Corpus Christi, 100 Shoreline Blvd. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, Nov. 11 from 6-9 p.m.
Greg Spaulding, an adjunct professor of art at A&M-Corpus Christi, was the first person admitted to the University’s Master of Fine Arts program in December 2002. The exhibition is the last step before his degree is conferred in December.
The 18-20 photos to be exhibited were taken in Mexico over the past five years. Spaulding’s passion for all things Mexican began as a child when his parents would take him to different parts of that country. After traveling in Mexico for more than 30 years he has some strong relationships and sees it as his second home.
“Crossing Borders is a state of mind made physical, a way of seeing emotions that defy words yet translate to images of paper and ink,” explained Spaulding. “My street portraits interpret the nobility I find in a people that have survived hundreds of years of oppression, repression, religious intolerance, and colonialism while retaining their dignity and exuding pure joy in living life.”
Spaulding acquired an interest in photography as a youngster from his grandfather who was a New York City police detective and photographer. His first formal training
was at the U.S. Naval Schools of Photography in Pensacola, Fla. He later served as the staff photographer for the Chief of Naval Air Training at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi. After returning to civilian life in 1978, Spaulding went to work for a commercial firm, returning to school in 1986 to obtain his bachelor of arts degree. He was an adjunct professor of communications and arts at the University from 1989-2000. After two years working free lance for publications such as The New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Der Speigel and Time Magazine, he returned to pursue his master’s degree.
“This new work is an evolution from my analog roots,” said Spaulding. “When I entered the MFA program I had a vision of continuing my alternative processes with which I have had success in previous exhibitions. I began an intensive digital media emersion, which surprisingly didn’t change the way my work looked. It just allowed me to explore new media.”
Spaulding’s latest works are digital prints on water color paper. He starts with a photographic image which can be either a scanned film positive or negative, or a digital camera file. He then imports it into Photoshop and begins to play with the image.
“I have an idea of what the finished image will look like when I begin, but when I’m finished I’m always surprised,” he said. “Sometimes an image takes on its own life and the creative process becomes more intuitive than deliberate.”