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Photography BFA students to unveil decades-inspired album covers in 'Cover to Cover' show



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Deep Roots Garden Center is located at Bloomingfoods East. Deep Roots specializes in native organic plants and sells ecologic perennials and other gardening tools. Adelina Jusuf Buy Photos

Something new is cooking at Bloomingfoods' old location on Second Street, where IU’s five sole photography Bachelor of Fine Arts students are preparing to unveil their original album covers. 

A one-night only event, “Cover to Cover” will feature work inspired by album covers from the 1950s to the 2000s and will be open 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, April 27.

“Cover to Cover” is a collaboration between the five BFA students in the School of Art, Design and Architecture’s photography program under the guidance of well-known photographer, ProfessorJames Nakagawa.

For the group project, students picked decades out of a hat to study and draw inspiration from to ultimately create an original album cover. Christian Baldwin, a senior, chose to focus on the rise of indie bands and teen pop in the 1990s. 

He said “Cover to Cover” explores the relationship between art and music. 

Baldwin said Nakagawa encouraged students to think outside the box, which Baldwin said is why the show will take place in an abandoned grocery store rather than a regular exhibit. 

“It’s gonna be a little loose," Baldwin said. "It’s not going to be as strict, as regimented as a regular gallery showing."

Baldwin and his classmates were initially worried the old Bloomingfoods building would be too big for their purposes, but they soon found it to be the perfect space to present their vision.

“We saw it was a space we could work with," Baldwin said. "We knew it was empty, and the people that own that space are actually the same people that own the Pictura gallery, which is also in town."

Baldwin said the owners were very open to turning the empty property into a venue for college art.

Baldwin said the show will also feature the photographer’s individual projects, which they work on throughout the semester. 

Kyra Stickford, also a senior working toward a BFA in the photography department, said she was excited to be assigned the 1960s as her decade. She chose to focus on psychedelic rock and folk genres for her two albums.

“I was really excited because the '60s was a big decade for music when The Beatles were becoming really popular and when Woodstock took place,” Stickford said in an email.

Senior Andres de Varona said he focused on 1980s post-punk rock bands like “Cure” and “Joy Division” as well as the Synth Pop era, which included artists like “Yellow Magic Orchestra.” 

Baldwin said the photographers help each other by branching out into different roles. Baldwin helped by performing modeling and lighting duties. He said Nakagawa emphasizes teaching his students how to fill many different roles. 

Stickford said collaborating brought the already close-knit group even closer together.

We have all been helping each other with our photo shoots and ideas which has brought us closer as a group too,” Stickford said in an email.

From landing the venue, to advertising, to the logistics of insurance and producing the artwork itself, the show is entirely student-run. 

“The show has taught all of us a lot of responsibility because we are doing everything completely by ourselves,” Stickford said in an email.

De Varona said he got a new perspective by doing more than simply producing the artwork itself.

“We're learning a lot about what it takes to make a show, especially on the other side of things that the artist might not necessarily be thinking about” de Varona said in an email.

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