Margaret LeJeune is an image-maker, curator, and educator from Rochester, New York. Working predominately with photographic-based mediums, LeJeune explores issues of gender, community, and the environment. Her work has been widely exhibited at museums and galleries across the country including The Griffin Museum of Photography, The Center for Fine Art Photography, Newspace Gallery, Workspace Gallery, Morean Arts Center, and the Candler Field Museum. LeJeune currently serves as Associate Professor of photography at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
The images in the series Sustain are an investigation into our complicated relationship with the sea. To sustain is both to support and encourage, to endure and to suffer. Humans rely on water for life – as the basic makeup of our physical bodies, the sustainer of fisheries and land-based farms, and the regulator of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Additionally, waterways provide jobs and transportation to millions of people around the globe. Through images of water management systems, artistic renditions of marine environments, and illustrations of human consumption, these works are meant to encourage a discussion about our interaction with, and impact on, the water. These works question our precarious relationship to this precious resource and begin a conversation about the interconnectedness of humans to the vast oceanic environment.
Q&A: BRADLEY UNIVERSITY
Why Bradley University?
Bradley University offers BA, BS, BFA, MA, and MFA programs with concentrations in photography. We have extensive studio and lab spaces with an equipment cage where students can check out 35mm, medium and large format cameras and accessories. Admitted undergraduate students are eligible to apply for Fine Art Scholarships with a portfolio. Graduate Student Stipends and TA opportunities are also available.
What courses do you teach?
I teach traditional, digital, and alternative process classes as well as portfolio development and the history of photography. In addition to photography coursework, I also teach Art and The Environment, a course in which we discuss environmental issues and respond to these concerns through public art projects. I serve on graduate student committees as well as teach several topics and travel-based courses, including a class in NYC during the May term.
How does your program bridge the gap between traditional and contemporary photographic practices?
Students are encouraged to think about the relationships between process, technique and content in all levels of classes in the program. First year photography students learn the basic principles of photography in two separate classes dedicated to traditional and digital imaging. Upperclassmen are directed through several personal projects that explore conceptual development and portfolio production. Drone, new media, and time-based techniques are introduced during the second year of coursework and encouraged in all subsequent classes.
Describe the process of output for photographs.
Students are encouraged to make photographic prints using a variety of techniques including traditional darkroom processes, historical techniques, and digital printing. Students have access to several Epson printers including 13”, 24”, and 42” models.
Describe the critique format.
Regular group critiques are an important part of all photography classes at Bradley. Students are encouraged to contribute substantive comments that build a discussion and provide meaningful technical and conceptual feedback to their peers. Guest artists are often invited to participate in critiques, including our yearly Bunn Lecturer. Recent guests have included Richard Renaldi, Lori Nix, Mark Klett, Keith Carter, and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb. The Bradley University Art Department also funds student travel to attend the regional and national Society for Photographic Education Conferences in order to participate in portfolio reviews and networking opportunities.
Where can we keep up with your photo department online?