Don’t Judge Amateur Artists As Professionals

Letter To The Editor

To the editors:

I was glad to see that The Crimson sent a reviewer to the Harvard Photography Club’s show this past weekend, but I would like to offer a clarification to the review of Alexandra B. Moss ’05 (ArtsMonday, “Photo Club Shows Off Fresh Exhibit,” April 28).

The Photography Club, which I founded in 2001, is a laid-back alternative to the time-intensive Visual and Environmental Studies courses offered on campus. Our students attend class just once a week for six weeks, and I have always been amazed at what they can produce after such a short amount of time.

The students who enroll in our classes are looking to acquire new skills in an informal setting; we focus more on skill development than on developing perfect prints! Moss’ review was not scathing, to be sure, but I wish that she had better considered the limited time—and absolute beginner status—of our students.

Rather than faulting them for improper developing of prints or weak “visual arrangement skills,” Moss would have been wise to laud these students for investing themselves in learning a new skill and working hard to create such impressive works in their spare time, when nobody is giving them a grade or even requiring them to attend class!

Rachel Vessey ’03

April 28, 2003

The writer is the founder and former president of the Harvard Photography Club.