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Adjunct’s photos featured in Cowles

Stephanie Daggett, staff writer
February 3, 2012

The Cowles Communication Building will feature the work of one of its own professors, who is also a retired photojournalist, in a collection entitled “Pairings.”

The pieces in “Pairings” come from a span of 30 years of Gary Fandel’s work. The display runs Feb. 13 – March 31.

The photographer will host a walk-through in the gallery Friday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m., where he will discuss his work more in depth.

Fandel is currently an adjunct professor of the Toy Camera class at GVand a freelance photographer. Previously, he has worked for several newspapers including The Des Moines Register, The Columbia Tribune, and The Dallas Times Herald.

Doug Wells, assistant professor of communication and exhibit coordinator, said, “We try to have different types of photography, from weddings to commercial. Gary’s work is more toward the fine arts scale.”

“Pairings” reflects a wide collection of Fandel’s work, including photos of the Amish, writer Hunter Thompson, politicians and the rest of his lifetime of work and interests.

Some were taken on assignment and others were taken in his free time. All photos are black and white.

“As I was spending a little time archiving some of my negatives and scanning in negatives, I would make some associations within the photos,” Fandel said. “I had two pretty famous authors in Hunter Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and I thought, ‘wow.’ Now it’s way more significant than when I was shooting it because they’re both gone, but they were literary giants.”

Fandel said he enjoyed photographing presidents, politicians and other famous people over the years. He said he would hang around an event after his assignments were complete and try to get unique photos for his own collection.

Fandel’s interest in photography began when he was in a painting class in high school.

“Originally I was more interested in art. I started using a camera to photograph subjects for paintings. And as I got more into it I realized photography itself was a legitimate art form,” Fandel said.

After high school, Fandel attended what is now Hawkeye Community College where he completed two years in the photography sequence.

Fandel said one of his professors sparked his interest in photojournalism. He went on to work as an intern at the Waterloo Courier where he was hired and stayed for three years. Soon after, Fandel went to the University of Mo. where he completed a four-year degree in photography.

After that he worked at The Columbia Tribune in Columbia, Mo. From there he moved to Texas and worked for The Dallas Times Herald and eventually moved to The Des Moines Register where he worked for 23 years.

Fandel said, “I’d like to thank Grand View for the opportunity to host the show.”

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