Colorado Mountain College professional photography students showcase work at ArtShare Gallery |

Colorado Mountain College professional photography students showcase work at ArtShare Gallery

Gallery Show for CMC Professional Photography students.
Kyle Mills / Post Independent


What: “Current Works: Students of the Colorado Mountain College Professional Photography Program” opening reception

When: 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 22

Where: ArtShare Gallery at Morgridge Commons, 815 Cooper Ave., 2nd floor, downtown Glenwood Springs.

Cost: Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. Community members are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

It’s not every day a college student receives the honor or opportunity of displaying their own work in a public gallery.

According to Derek Johnston, photography professor and director of the Colorado Mountain College Professional Photography program, “Our students enjoy this real-world experience that goes beyond what they’re taught in the classroom.”

More than a dozen Colorado Mountain College professional photography students are taking part in the annual student show, which opened earlier this week.

The show provides students the experience of exhibiting their work in a public gallery and sharing and discussing their work with others.

“It’s an incredible opportunity. Not a lot of people have access to high-quality printing, paper use and gallery-style exhibition. For a lot of us, it is the first time our work has been printed big and shown to the public,” second-year professional photography student Dustin Gregory said.

“I think it was a very valuable experience to go through the proofing and printing process, to understand what really goes into that. Just to have your work seen and to cross that item off the career list, it’s been a pretty incredible and awesome rewarding experience.”

CMC ArtShare will host an opening reception for “Current Works: Students of the Colorado Mountain College Professional Photography Program” at the CMC ArtShare Gallery 6 to 8 p.m. tonight in Glenwood Springs

“I think it is outstanding. It’s an awesome opportunity at a young age to be able to display my work,” second-year professional photography student Murphy McCoy said.

Students will be on hand to talk about their photography with members of the community during the opening reception at the gallery located on the second floor of Morgridge Commons.


Gregory, who moved to Colorado in 2011 from Norwich, Vermont, fell for photography soon after arriving.

“Through my exploration of the West, as I was living in the Vail area, sort of fell in love with photography and digital media,” Gregory said.

After researching online for photography programs, Gregory said he came across the CMC program, which was essentially right in his backyard.

“Next thing you know, I was a 30-year-old college graduate going back to school for photography and media,” Gregory added.

A quick search online helped Murphy McCoy find the program, as well.

Originally from Parker, McCoy said she fell for photography early on.

“I took my first photography class in high school, and I had a great teacher at the time. I really like graphic design as well,” McCoy said.

“When I visited the school, the equipment and the faculty were outstanding. That’s what drew me here.”

Both Gregory and Murphy describe the CMC professional photography program as challenging and rewarding personally and professionally.

“It’s not the traditional workload of an undergraduate bachelor program, where it is a lot of papers, lot of tests. There are still written assignments and there are still tests just to conform into the Western educational system. Most of the work is hands-on shooting, processing, building, creating media and imagery,” Gregory said.

“You get out of it what you’re willing to put in.”

For McCoy, who started who first began the program two years ago, she left the program briefly to pursue art at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

“I thought I wanted to pursue art and 3-D mediums, and I realized I was not as excited about it as I was about photography,” McCoy said.

McCoy said she missed the structure of CMC.

“My expectation were higher and they didn’t have the same expectation, I felt like I was neglecting my opportunities and chances to learn,” she added. “I missed the environment that I had at Colorado Mountain College, so I came back to finish my degree here.”

McCoy is happy to be back in the valley and excited for the show and looking forward to showing off her work.

“I love this school, it’s really challenging, but I enjoy that I’m placed in a real-world situation almost every day in class,” McCoy added.

“There’s no slack, they have high expectations for you, so you can always achieve more. There are real deadlines with real professional standards and as soon as you set the bar higher for yourself, they never let you go back.”

The exhibit is free, runs through April 25 and is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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