On Feb. 8, The New Paltz Photo Club announced the theme of their first zine of the Spring 2021 semester: “Disconnect.” The project will be curated by treasurer Marisa Lucchese and secretary Mikayla Millard. The Instagram post announcing the zine encouraged creatives to submit their work in order to be featured in the project. The deadline for submissions was Feb. 22.
The New Paltz Photo Club meets every Monday and Friday at 6 p.m. through Zoom and is “open to photo majors, budding photographers or anyone interested in photography,” according to the club’s Instagram bio. Besides curating and publishing zines, the club also does BFA portfolio reviews, guided lectures from professors and game nights.
“The main reason for it would definitely be the pandemic,” Lucchese said regarding this issue’s Zine theme. “Obviously we’re all very disconnected. I know for myself it’s been hard forming the same friendships and relationships you usually would in person.”
Another theme for “Disconnect” was the effect that social media has on our culture.
“This kind of extends even past that, like in our culture I feel like it’s such a big thing with social media and stuff,” Lucchese explained. “You only see little bits of people. You only see what they put out and it can lead to a sense of disconnect. I think that was a big reason for us to go into that.”
The club started making zines during the Fall 2020 semester because of how well zine-making works with the online format that they had to resort to. Previous zine themes include “Intimacy” and “Biology.” The club is accepting any kind of digital image for the “Disconnect” zine, including film that is scanned.
“We wanted to leave the theme as open as possible,” said Millard, regarding the zine. “We can get as many different types of photographic works as possible, but no videos or anything like that.”
Despite the pandemic making it harder for clubs at New Paltz to stay connected, the group has been getting creative with how they meet and keep their members in the loop and interested.
“We meet every Monday at six, which is typically when we have our more organized informational meetings,” Millard explained. “Friday is ‘game night,’ [that we hold] just to get more of a sense of community in the photo BFA, since we lack that in the online Zoom world.”
According to their Instagram, the club has held many in-person photography skill-building events pre-pandemic, including a collage demo night, a photogram making workshop and an interactive scavenger hunt, where participants had to take photos with certain themes to them, including a self portrait and a silhouette.
Along with the Photography Club, the New Paltz photography BFA department has been staying active as well. According to their website, the program has been frequently hosting guest speakers as well as holding informational meetings about how to create BFA applications.
Stay updated on the “Disconnect” zine and what the club does next by following their Instagram account: @newpaltzphotoclub.