Photographer to visit Tyler

Photographer Bea Nettles will speak with Tyler students this September.

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words, but this fall, Tyler photography students will turn a listening ear to the lectures of world renowned artists.

In both the spring and fall semesters, Tyler hosts lectures with artists who are willing to speak and share advice with interested students and offer some words of advice. As part of this Visiting Artist Lecture series, the school is set to host photographer Bea Nettles on Sept. 18.

Nettles, who has been working as a professional photographer since 1970, hopes to share what she has learned during the span of her career to eager young artists.

“The focus of this lecture will be my photography’s unique ability to reveal the passage of time and place,” Nettles said. “Much of my work is autobiographical so my life experiences are apparent in my work.”

Many of the books of work that she has compiled in the past 40 years as a photographer have been inspired by events in her life and her own experiences.

Students and staff who attend the lecture can expect to get a glimpse into Nettles’ life on a professional, but also personal level.

“The theme of much of my work deals with family life, motherhood, aging and passing through many of life’s trials,” Nettles said.

With so many art students hoping to be in their shoes someday, professional artists like Nettles come to Temple to provide a look at how their careers have blossomed during their lifetimes.

Though the artists mostly talk about their own life experiences and work, photographer and previous lecturer Larry Fink said the real meaning is to encourage young people to keep their imaginations alive.

“The main point I always want to get across to the students is that life is a game,” Fink said. “The imagination is imperiled in the not very creative process of capitalism.”

Knowing how important it is to encourage young people to keep that creative spark in his more than 50 years of teaching, he said that he truly enjoys helping the youth.

“My whole life is predicated toward keeping hope alive, so I adore helping young people –people in formation,” Fink said. “If I can be of service to them, I am blessed to be able to do so.”

In terms of how students can benefit from coming to these lectures, Fink believes that listening to the experiences of artists like Nettles and himself can only be of great benefit.

“[People] come in and share what it is to be alive through seeking out art,” Fink said. “The [Tyler students] can do nothing but grow from that.”

As witnesses to the major events and movements of the past five decades, Nettles and Fink have both had career opportunities young artists can only dream about. Now they can share that with the new eneration of artists at Temple.

Alexa Bricker can be reached at

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