|(Many thanks to The Center, Santa Fe, for its Teacher of the Year award. It's a real honor.)|
For some time I have wanted to take a class further and deeper. Here we go:
A Serious Project Workshop
For one reason and another, I'm moving this to next September. Email me if you'd like to hear more about it.
Other Upcoming classes and talks include:
Pacific Northwest Art School, June 9-15
Maine Media Workshops, Creativity and the Photographer (Advanced) July 14–20
Anchorage, Alaska, July (closed)
Maine Media Workshops, Creativity and the Photographer, August 11-17
Modica, Sicily, November
It's like we are born at the bottom of a well, and creativity is our way out.
My creativity workshops are unusual in that they take us deeply into photography and, beyond that, into creativty itself.
Jay Maisel said: "Take Sean Kernan's class: if you are open to it you will be enriched. It's about receptiveness, understanding, expansion and challenge. Take Sean Kernan's class if you are not open to it and you will be shaken up, irritated, annoyed and challenged. In either case it will be time well spent and changes in you will be made. After all isn't that what we're going for?"
About My Workshop.
I didn’t set out to teach...or to be a photographer. I just wanted to focus my undisciplined post-adolescent awareness, and photography came along at the right time to let me do that. It became both the frame of my seeing, and the vehicle.And when I was asked to take over someone else’s class at Manhattanvile College it never occurred to me to wonder if I was qualified. After all, I had never studied it formally. But I had worked very hard to learn it on my own, and I knew it well. Beyond that, I was very excited by the medium, by the possibilities it held for taking one into the world and into one’s self. If I could convey that excitement and those possibilities, I knew I’d be alright.So I was put in charge of the advanced class. I asked the senior teacher why he preferred the beginning class. He laughed, and said, “Because the answers are easier.”The mechanics of photography are easy enough that one can pick them up on one’s own (I had), But I was more interested in what happens before the click. How do you find the music of the frame? How do you find the psychology of the moment? How do you photograph something that is about to happen?I had worked in theater for several years after college, and the things that we had tried to bring alive in plays—life, insight-- were the very things that made a photograph interesting. So I began to use theater games and exercises in imagination in my assignments. They worked, and I have been doing so ever since.
Early on I had a young Japanese student who said to me, “You teach photography as a Way.” I hadn’t meant to, and barely understood what she meant at the time, but she was right. Now, more than 30 years on, I am still doing that.
And teaching has led me to learning. I have gone more deeply into how the infant brain expands itself, and how this is the very same process by which artists do their work of expansion.I have written frequently on this topic, for the magazines Communication Arts, Lenswork, and Graphis.
Recently I have extended my teaching and lecturing beyond photography, talking and workshopping with magazine editors, with art school faculty (Art Center, Pasadena), with women with cancer (F. Holland Day Foundation), and doctors (Yale Medical School).It is a passionate quest, and my work is not just to aggregate the knowledge but to find ways to put people into a place where they can find their own creative state through their own direct experience.
For people studying photography, I often call my class, “Setting the Photographer Aside.”
To date I have taught and lectured at: Maine and Santa Fe Workshops,New School/Parsons (New York), Art Center (Pasadena),Yale Medical School, Hallmark Institute of Photography, General Mills, International Center of Photography (New York), University of Texas, Austin Peay University (Tenn.), F. Holland Day Foundation (Maine), Wesleyan University, Institute of Art (Atlanta), Lehman College (New York). I have also been a keynote speaker at various events, including Art Center, Pasadena, graduation; Rockport College, Maine, graduation; Society of Photographic Education, New England; Case Editors Conference, Chicago; Governor's Academy, Massachussets; Williston Academy, Massachussets; the Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; ASMP Strictly Business, Los Angeles and Atlanta; Photo-Plus, New York.
(Photo: Margaret Hiden)