Introducing the MFA|EDA Class of 2016

Duke University’s Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts program is pleased to announce  the incoming MFA|EDA Class of 2016.

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Kristina S. Baker was born and raised in Stockton, California.  She studied language and art at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, completing her BFA at Sonoma State University where she interned as a biofeedback technician.  She uses video, photography, and mixed-media assemblage to examine patterns in behavior, habit, and ritual.  Her work explores the ways humans cope with the paradox of both wanting to live forever and trying to feel alive through some experience of dying.

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Born in 1991, Roxanne Rosalie Campbell grew up in Kingston, Jamaica and Brooklyn, New York. Following her graduation from high school, she entered the College of Arts and Sciences (BA) program at the University of Virginia, where she studied Cinematography. Her cinematography work explores adolescent development, gender roles and education. She has spent the past year working as an Associate Sales Representative at Oracle Corporation in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Born and raised in Virginia, Alex Cunningham attended Ithaca College where he studied film, photography, and visual arts and earned a BFA.  His work, while crossing genres and modes such as experimental, ethnographic, poetic documentary, and fiction, focuses on the relationship shared by humans and their immediate and global geography.  He has studied and produced work in India, including a documentary set on the Ganges, and a published book of photographs from northern India.  Last year was spent working at Cornell as a photographer for the Digital Conservation and Preservation Services, and driving around the country shooting for his next project.

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Tamika Galanis was born in 1979 and raised in Nassau, Bahamas. Her photographic work examines the ideas of culture, identity and social issues affecting women and children. In 2013, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clayton State University where she has spent the past year coordinating undergraduate student media activities.

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Filmmaker and educator Jon-Sesrie Goff grew up in Connecticut and upstate New York. He studied business, sociology, and theater at Morehouse College before receiving his BA from The New School. He has over a decade of production experience, working on a range of projects across genres, including the recently-released documentaries Evolution of a Criminal and Out in the Night. His work explores identity through the image of the community.  He has spent the last two years as an adjunct professor at Villanova University and West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

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Qathi Gallaher Hart, (1968), grew up in and around Seattle, Washington. She began college at the age of 40 at Seattle’s Shoreline Community College, studying photography and art history followed by a BFA in Animated Arts from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. Incorporating rotoscoping and live footage, her animated work focuses on feminism, visibility, and equal rights, using hand-drawn cells, digital painting and physical 3-D animation. She works as a performance artist and production manager for a large annual arts festival.

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Kihae Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and has spent time in India and Japan where he was exposed to diverse cultures.  Kihae was awarded a BS in Political Science from Korea University, and his interest in photography led him to enroll at the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2009.  With an interest in direct and honest photographs, his photographic works depict the particular time and society in which he belongs.

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 Michaela O’Brien is a documentary filmmaker and photographer from Boston, Massachusetts. For the past five years she has worked at Northern Light Productions, a non-fiction and documentary media outlet, where she served as an Associate Producer, Cinematographer, Production Manager, and Archival Researcher. Michaela has worked on documentary broadcast specials for outlets such as the Investigation Discovery Channel and on award-winning audiovisual installations and interactive videos for a variety of acclaimed museums. Her freelance video and photographic works are often ethnographic and observational in quality and have been featured in film festivals and galleries nationwide. She received her BA in Sociology and International Studies from Boston College and has studied filmmaking and photography at The New England School of Photography and the New England Institute of Art. She is currently directing and producing In Crystal Skin, an independent documentary shot in Bogotá, Colombia, that traces the lives of four individuals challenged by Epidermolysis Bullosa, a severe and inherited skin disorder. Please visit her website at: www.themobphoto.com.

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 Jason Oppliger is about making things. He is most fascinated by what’s just behind the thing we’re supposed to be looking at. Slightly to the left or right of it. Maybe it’s just off frame. The point being, he likes an underdog. Jason’s work typically has a sense of observation inside of it, of capturing through the medium itself: acknowledgment of the frame. He is drawn to visual texture, haptic imagery, and insightful camera movement, with an affinity for the cultural detritus of our visually disintegrating urban imprints and their subsequent resurfacing. In Jason’s spare time, he dreams about climbing mountains and drinking coffee. Jason is not a vegetarian. His films have played at various festivals including: SXSW, Vail Film Festival, and The Thin Line Documentary Film Festival.

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Dan Smith is a photographer-turned-political scientist-turned-race car driver-turned-photographer who has found himself inexplicably ensconced in academia while raising a family, in Durham, North Carolina. When he has the time, his photographic subjects range from the nude to motorsports, architecture to aviation and a little bit of documenting the world in which he’s found himself.

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Christopher Thomas is an artist and musician from Davidson, North Carolina. Specializing in experimental image making, sound and performance, he received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Upon moving to New York City, he worked for filmmaker Casey Neistat on the HBO series, The Neistat Brothers and later for the non-profit Buckminster Fuller Institute.  For the last two years, he has served as a teaching artist and coordinator for Studio 345, a free, youth development/arts enrichment program in Charlotte, North Carolina.  When not teaching music and video production, Chris is making his own projects of the same nature.

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Beatriz Wallace was born in 1981 and grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. She studied English and Photography at Amherst College. She helped implement digital storytelling for children exposed to family violence in rural Missouri, taught Multimedia Journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia and worked as a Visiting Professor at Duquesne University. She uses art, data and computer language to analyze, collect and share stories.

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 Wei Wang is a photojournalist who has been bouncing around every corner in China. Born and raised in China, Wei began to take pictures when she was seven years old, when her dad told her, “See that little window? Put everything you want inside.” That is how she learned to use a camera. Wei graduated with a university degree in English linguistics, and after graduation she worked for Beijing Evening News, photographing current events, breaking news, and long-term projects, all from the observation of social problems, such as air pollution, the housing bubble, food security and ethnic conflicts. In 2011, she joined Reuters as a freelancer, covering a wide range of news stories in China and around the world. Wei has been the recipient of awards in journalism and photography, and her work has been shown and collected by art galleries and foundations in China and New York. Wei sometimes dreams in mute, and black-and-white, but in real life she is fascinated by color and light. Wei wants to explore more, going to new regions and see more parts of the world.

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 Born in 1984, Kyle Wilkinson grew up in Monroe, Ohio. Following high school he received a BFA in film production from Wright State University. Through film and photography his work explores the relationship between people and the spaces they inhabit, examining the unseen mechanics that shape our society. Kyle has been a cinematographer on multiple documentaries including Women Who Yell and the SilverDocs audience award-winner, Sparkle.  He was most recently a producer on the multimedia project Reinvention Stories, part of Localore, a nationwide initiative to encourage collaboration between film and radio.

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 Michael Anthony Williams is a filmmaker who loves the art in himself instead of himself in the art. He graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a BFA in Professional Theater with a concentration in Directing. Michael has always had a love for the arts, and has dedicated his life to toward social change. By blending his love for the movies and passion for community involvement, the best fit seemed to be filmmaking. Michael has produced several short films and one feature-length documentary film. He is very excited about pursuing his MFA at Duke University, while making new and lasting memories.

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Viewfinder Header Image Credit:  Libi Striegl (’15) and Tom Rankin

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