Art Faculty Michael Godsil Exhibits Photographs

Buchanan Center in Monmouth, Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg

January 20, 2011

Michael GodsilMichael Godsil, a member of the Knox College art faculty, will exhibit his photographs in two upcoming shows, with one to feature some of the largest photographs ever displayed in the area.

The Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, Illinois, will display Godsil's photography in an exhibit, "Ancient Echoes in Stone," from February 4 through March 5, with a free, public opening reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, February 4, at the center, 64 Public Square in Monmouth.

Carl Sandburg College will feature Godsil's photographs as part of a group show, "Take 10: Ten Regional Photographers," from January 21 to March 1 in the Building D Gallery at the college's Main Campus, 2400 Wilson Blvd., Galesburg, with a free, public reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, January 29.

Godsil's show at the Buchanan Center will feature five large digital color prints that have never been exhibited before, along with 30 black and white photographs printed using the traditional darkroom method.

Godsil's new color prints, four feet by five feet, are among the largest that have been exhibited in this area, he says. "The scale of the physical subjects" was a major factor in selecting the large images. "At one site, the famous White House Ruin -- Timothy O'Sullivan and Ansel Adams both worked there -- the subject is almost 1,000 feet tall, and there's a difference between viewing a 12-inch print and one that's five feet tall," Godsil says.

The exhibit at Carl Sandburg College will feature three photographs from each of ten photographers -- Godsil, John Vellenga, John Van Kirk, Robert Lee Mejer, Tom Foley, Tim Shroll, Michael Behrens, Ann Conver, Fritz Goeckner and Rich Ankeney. Van Kirk is a 1965 Knox graduate who is retired from teaching.

Photos: Above, Michael Godsil on location; below right, pictured with Ansel Adams in a 1984 feature in the Knox alumni magazine; bottom of page, leading a group critique in photography class.

Ansel Adams, Mike GodsilGodsil has taught photography at Knox since 1987. He earned a degree in economics and business administration at Knox in 1976, and a degree in art in 2004. In addition to his extensive freelance work in editorial, commercial and industrial photography, Godsil has concentrated his personal work on ancient ruins in the American Southwest and Peru; and on glaciers in Alaska, Montana, and the Canadian Rockies.

Godsil's photographs have been featured in solo exhibitions throughout the U.S.  and in numerous publications, including a story in Knox College's alumni magazine (right), shortly after he studied with famed photographer Ansel Adams.

Mike's Guide: How to Take and Make Stunning Photos

  • Seek out stunning subject matter: "Some of the locations in 'Ancient Echoes in Stone' are so isolated, it takes two hours of hiking and climbing to get there."
  • Keep your finger on the scale: "All of us in the art department at Knox talk with students about scale -- how the size of your image and the choices you make create the viewing experience."
  • Focus on quality at every step: "The images for the large color prints were taken on 4x5 (inch) color transparency film, then digitized with a high-resolution drum scanner, and printed at Lightbox, Inc., where Bruce Starrenburg was exceptionally sensitive and cooperative through the scanning and printing of the pictures."

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 45 states and 48 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Photography Class