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Fall 2011_Winter 2010_Holiday 8/12/11 12:48 AM Page 32

Photography of Alyse Futch by: Heath Dorminey Additional Photography by: Alyse Futch

Tell us a little about yourself. I just celebrated my twenty-first

birthday back in June on the twenty- sixth. I have one sibling, my little brother Alex, who is also my best friend. I have wonderful parents, Den- nis and Angela Futch, who have sup- ported me and my passion for art my entire life.

How did you get into photography, or have you always enjoyed it? When I was eleven years old, I

started taking piano lessons at the local arts center. I continued to participate in art classes at the arts center for years. My sophomore year in high school, when I was fiſteen years old, I signed up for an arts class as usual, but this time I had a new teacher I had never had before. Her name was Ms. Mackenzie McKellar. She decided to put the old darkroom in the arts center to good use and asked for permission to use it to teach our whopping class of four students. I remember my best friend of many years, Kristina Allen, was in that class with me along with Ashley Jiminez, and Austin Garcia. I remember that going to the darkroom aſter school was what I started to look forward to the most. Every day, my mom would pick me up for dinner aſter my class, and she would tell me that I reeked of chemicals, and I re- member that my fingers would be white at the tips. For me, the darkroom was an escape and a magical place that never ceased to amaze me. We made a pinhole camera out of a coffee can and we took them outside and pho- tographed an exposure about four sec- onds long with our handmade lens caps, and then we would close the lens

32 Fall 2011

cap and take the camera inside so we could take out the paper and develop it. I learned so many things that year from Mackenzie and continued to use my camera to document things I found interesting – moments and people I never wanted to forget, and visually appealing compositions in general. At the age of sixteen, I was able to

travel to Europe as a student ambassa- dor with People to People Student Am- bassador Program. With a group of four leaders and about twenty-five other fiſteen and sixteen-year- old kids, we landed in Rome, Italy and traveled by bus all throughout Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and France. Tis experi- ence brought me so much inspiration. Aſter photographing throughout Eu- rope and visiting the Louvre museum, my interest in photography grew tremendously.

You attended Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). How did you decide to attend this school rather than other colleges or art schools? I saw a SCAD poster in Mr. Stephen-

son’s art room at the high school in the ninth grade. Ten, when I was seven- teen, my family and I went to Savan- nah for the first time and got to tour the school. I remember looking for students but didn't see any except for one guy who was drawing me while I was standing in a coffee shop. My mom told me to go ask him if he went to SCAD, and he said that he did and that he had five-hundred "gesture drawings" to do by the morning, then he showed me the gesture drawing he did of me. Te following year I got ac- cepted into SCAD, and I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was.

Aſter being accepted into SCAD, I

got to attend Summer Swarm, which is a school tour and orientation session in which I was able to stay in the dorms for two days with other future SCAD students. Aſter Summer Swarm, I knew that SCAD was the place for me. I felt so privileged to be able to do what I love and to perfect my work at the college of my dreams, and I still do.

Tell us about the school, how it is dif- ferent from other schools and how it has helped you in your creativity. Being at SCAD has given me the

privilege to be surrounded by artists and very talented people. Tese stu- dents are all inspirations for me as well as everything that surrounds me. I have learned a lot from every professor and every class I've taken while in col- lege. I have learned so many things since attending SCAD, and my work has grown and progressed greatly over the years. Aſter every project, all the students in the class hang their work on the walls, and our professor and the other students in the class critique the work. Some professors are very tough on us, but I've always been able to take constructive criticism and use it to make my work better.

What part do you think that SCAD has played in helping to restore the historic city of Savannah? For 30 years, SCAD has been recog- nized as a leader in the field of historic preservation education and practice, with more than 70 historic buildings rehabilitated in Savannah. Te univer- sity has received a National Honor Award from the National Trust for His- toric Preservation, multiple preservation

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