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About me


A Quick Summary of Who I am

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About me


A Quick Summary of Who I am

I am a classically trained photographic artist, father, and aspiring chef. When I'm not making or editing photographic images the old fashioned way, I enjoy shopping for seasonal fresh produce at the local farmers' markets and planning what I will prepare for the week's dinners at home. When the travel bug bites, my partner Jenn and I take off on a spontaneous road trip for a weekend out of town. As someone who values social justice and being a person for others, I also make time to volunteer with various organizations and support causes I care about. I also enjoy browsing bookstores for art books, going to movies, and attending art events.

 

LinkedIn: andrewthomaslopez

Instagram: @andrewtlopez  



TRAVELS:

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Assets and Abilities


 notable interpersonal attributes and strengths in skills / technology

making other photographers look awesome through  Retouching and  EDITING

Assets and Abilities


 notable interpersonal attributes and strengths in skills / technology

making other photographers look awesome through  Retouching and  EDITING


PHOTO RETOUCHING AND EDITING

I believe that the best photographs always start with the best negative or digital file. By doing so, the final outcome has a greater chance of transcending the moment, and becoming something more than a snapshot. 

I take pride in my work as an editor and creator, and always aim to improve every image. From editing my own images and working with other photographers, it is my pleasure to use my strengths to create the best possible final product.

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Artist | Photographer


Visual Artist specializing in photography

advocate for autism acceptance and understanding neurodiversity

Artist | Photographer


Visual Artist specializing in photography

advocate for autism acceptance and understanding neurodiversity

Initial interest in my preferred medium began with composing and building stage sets to be photographed that embraced filmic narratives, influenced by studying cinema and philosophy. While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I became a father to a little boy in 2006, who I nicknamed Sabas. At the age of three, Sabas was a little behind on speaking, enjoyed making repetitive sounds, and became fixated on toys with vibrant colors. It was wonderful to see his pleasure in obsessing over his favorite totems, and becoming enveloped in his own world; however, it was an effort to get his attention. In 2009, months before finding out I was accepted into the photography graduate program at Columbia, I decided to take him to a behavioral specialist. After a few visits and tests, Sabas was diagnosed with autism.

Balancing my transition into graduate studies, I started coping, researching, and discovering methods that improved his verbal and comprehension skills. By the end of my first year, efforts improved my son’s communication, and his fixations transitioned into an a amazing creative outlet. He became obsessed with building sculptural tableaus in his environment focused on color, composition, and order. Similar to my own interests in building and composing sets, I began making portraits and documenting his creations. 

Sabas’ artistic interests coupled with my aspiration to better communicate and engage with my son, have fueled my drive and inspiration as an artist and father. Our current ongoing project, This Means Something… This is Important, mixes the complementary aesthetics of an artist trained at the photographic craft and a child with an intuitive ability to create art. The series has been exhibited in multiple venues and given recognition, including an invite to lecture in collaboration with the Autism Society.

On a personal level, the project has evolved into an activity that my son and I enjoy doing together, and a way to create a sacred space for us to make art. As a parent, the project is about developing a dialogue with a child on their level, and to build positive actions and aesthetic outcomes expressed through photography. As an artist, I make these images to encourage individuals autistic, non-autistic, and those with misconceptions about autism to shift ideas away from the definitions of normalcy, and to see our children as creative artistic beings that can use their strengths to build worlds filled with imagination.

PROJECTS

Selected Exhibitions

Ohio University College of Fine Arts, ADP Pop-Up Exhibition, Athens, OH 2015

PhotoPlace Gallery, Marvelous Things, Middlebury, VT 2015

Summit Artspace, Adorned Spaces, Akron, OH 2014

Box Gallery, Clever Little Devils: Youth Culture and Advertising, Akron, OH 2013

Hyde Park Art Center, Ground Floor, curated by Dawoud Bey, Chicago, IL 2012

Kiernan Gallery, Still Life: The Art of Arrangement, Lexington, VA 2012

Glass Curtain Gallery, F8 MFA Photography Exhibition, Chicago, IL 2012

Publications and Lectures

Complementary Aesthetics, Lecture, Columbus Museum of Art 2016

ADP Workshop, Lecture and Critique, Ohio University 2015

Marvelous Things: The Art of Still Life Catalogue, PhotoPlace Gallery 2015

The Raw Book, Online Interview 2014

Present Tenses, Artists of Rubber City 2014

Creativity and Autism, Lecture, Summit Artspace 2014

Ground Floor: Biennial Exhibition of New Art Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center 2012

F8 MFA Photography Exhibition, Glass Curtain Gallery, Chicago, IL

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Instructor


Lecturing about art and teaching students to be better photographers

Instructor


Lecturing about art and teaching students to be better photographers

Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.
— John Dewey, Democracy and Education

As a teacher, I believe in taking a pedagogical approach designed to establish a student-centered classroom environment, facilitate collaborative learning, and provide clear expectations with measurable outcomes. I am dedicated to helping students become excellent at their craft, versatile in their practice, have the ability to cultivate creative expression, and develop personal relationships with their peers and communities.

 
Andrew had a strong grasp of photographic history along with technical aspects of photography. Well-informed and helpful, he spent class lectures introducing us to a wide range of contemporary or classic photographers relating to each project, theory, and history of our medium.
Andrew was a skilled instructor and he made it a point to show us his own work. He stressed the fact that he is a working artist while giving us an insight into what we have to expect when we are ready to become acquainted with the current art industry. Andrew gave us examples of the way he forms his ideas but also suggested other methods of brainstorming that could work for us. He tried very hard to cater his teaching style to our individual tastes in order to encourage us to delve into methods we had never tried before with confidence.
— Former Student
He was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter. His gusto for photography aided in his ability to come across as informative and helpful. I greatly appreciated when he would spend long hours after class to help anyone who questions. Not every professor has the patience to dedicate time and resources to their students.
I am pleased to state that Andrew is a wonderful instructor. His lectures were filled with useful images by photographers and his intent for showing these photographs were create a way for our class to think constructively. Andrew wanted our class to understand the craftsmanship of photography by piecing it together through other artists’ that developed reasoning and an intent behind each project.
— Former Student
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Education


BFA - MARY SCHILLER MYERS SCHOOL OF ART, UNIVERSITY OF AKRON | PHOTOGRAPHY, 2008

MFA - Columbia College Chicago | Photography, 2012

Education


BFA - MARY SCHILLER MYERS SCHOOL OF ART, UNIVERSITY OF AKRON | PHOTOGRAPHY, 2008

MFA - Columbia College Chicago | Photography, 2012

BFA - Photography, Minor - Printmaking

As an undergrad, I immersed myself in making art through photography and printmaking. I was known to spend long hours in the labs, and spotted on couches taking quick naps to continue working through the night. It was common to see me with a camera wrapped around my body, copper plates in one hand, and Kodak Portra Endura in the other. I have fond memories of developing close relationships with fellow artists who spent their nights at the art school, and coming home with ink stained jeans with a lingering smell of fixer.

BFA - Coursework

MFA - Photography

My graduate studies consisted of saturating myself with photography and the arts. I gained valuable experience working with dedicated educators and artists to improve my photographic skills, concepts, and using advanced technologies for processing and printing images. Working as a graduate teaching assistant exposed me to the process of developing my own teaching style with first-hand guidance and values driven principles for conveying the medium. If I was not in the lab or making images, I could be spotted at museum and gallery showings all around the greater Chicago area.

MFA - Coursework

Independent Coursework - Loyola University Chicago

Advanced Writing: Business Writing   |   Classroom Management