An Artist’s Journey to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
Friday, January 4
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rose Library 3rd Floor Flex
Join a celebration of the collaborative research and artistic efforts of two JMU Professors, Gary Freeburg and George C. Johnson, in their exploration of Alaska's Valley of 10,000 Smokes. This is a chance to see the documentary film in Harrisonburg before it is shown on PBS. The event will feature this 30-minute documentary film showing, followed by a brief question and answer period with the artist.
- Gain a sense of kinds of interdisciplinary scholarship possible at JMU.
- Appreciate the work and voice of other scholars on campus.
Gary Freeburg, Director, Sawhill Gallery
George Johnson, Professor, School of Media, Arts, & Design
Gary Freeburg was born 1948 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was raised there. After serving in Vietnam in the U.S. Navy, Freeburg received three degrees in photography: his B.F.A. and M.A. from Minnesota State University at Mankato in 1974 and 1977 and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1978. He lived and worked in Alaska for twenty-five years and served as a professor of art at the University of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula College, where he directed the art program and served as the curator in the campus art gallery that now bears his name. He is currently a professor of art and the director of Sawhill Gallery at James Madison University. Freeburg has worked with renowned photographers and educators, such as Ansel Adams, Oliver Gagliani, and John Schultz, and his photographs have been exhibited nationally and appeared in Under Northern Lights, Writers and Artists View the Alaskan Landscape and Looking North (University of Washington Press, 1998; 2000). He has received an Individual Artist Fellowship Grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts, Anchorage; an honorary degree for his contribution to the visual arts from Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage; and an Art Educator of the Year Award in Higher Education from the Alaska Art Education Association. He was recognized by the Getty Center for Education in the Arts for his art advocacy work in Alaska and Washington, DC, and a documentary film by George C. Johnson, An Artist's Journey to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes: The Photography of Gary Freeburg, serves as a capstone to Freeburg's photographic work in the wilderness of Alaska.
George Johnson began his professional career as a photographer and reporter for the Hattiesburg American newspaper in Mississippi followed by two years with the University of Southern Mississippi Photographic Service. He taught photography for two-years at USM. Shortly after that he went to work for the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television where he worked as a senior cinematographer, director, and producer. He worked on various award-winning television programs that ranged from children’s informative programs to documentaries. After eight years with MAETV, he was hired to begin a photojournalism program at Arkansas State University in the Department of Journalism. While at ASU, he completed his Ph.D. in Journalism at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Shortly after his completion of his degree, he taught at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in the Department of Broadcasting. After three years at UT, he accepted a faculty position at James Madison University where he served for 14-years as the Director of what became the School of Media Arts and Design. Currently, he is a full professor in the School. He has been teaching in higher education for over 30 years and has taught a variety of courses in photography, videography, mass communication law, TV production, media technology, journalism writing, and other media related classes.
For more information contact the Center for Faculty Innovation | 540-568-4846