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Ohio State Photo League to exhibit hashtag art

Courtesy of Mary Mouangsavanh

A new Ohio State exhibit, sponsored by the OSU Photo League, will take hashtags to a new level. 

“The hashtags (will be) the themes of the event, they work as kind of inspirational or categorical (guidelines),” said Mary Jane Mouangsavanh, a fourth-year in fine arts and president of the OSU Photo League.

The hashtags include: #Paranoia, #Fragments, #Over-Sharing, #Power-Outage and #Missed-Communications. 

Submissions for the show, “Hashtag your Publicly Private Life,” can be dropped off Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Hopkins Hall Room 366. It costs $3 for one submission, $5 for two, and $7 for three.

The exhibit is set to open Thursday at 7 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.

Assistant art professors Jessica Mallios and Aspen Mays founded OSU Photo League last September and co-advise it now.

“We are a brand new facility, we started in the fall and we were approached by students who really wanted something like this. And we decided to co-advise and work with them,” Mallios said.

The group’s first exhibition’s theme, “Beginnings,” which looked at what constitutes an origin, had more broad instructions with little restrictions. The guidelines for this show are narrower but still intend to get participants in the mindset of what they are looking for, Mouangsavanh said.

The submitters of the top four photographs will each earn a $50 gift card to Midwest Photo Exchange, one of the three camera shop sponsors.

Photographer and Columbus College of Art and Design faculty member Shannon Benine is set to jury the exhibition and will speak at the opening.

Being in the show is a good resume builder for students, Mouangsavanh said, adding that even making it into the exhibition is an accomplishment because an accredited curator chooses the work.

Mays agreed, saying it was a great opportunity for students to develop a professional practice and experience being in a professional art exhibition.

“I think it’s a great way for students in the Photo League to gain experience in putting together exhibitions, showing their work and engaging in a broader conversation with the university,” Mays said in an email.

Being that we live in such a technologically dependent world, where people don’t really communicate outside of text messages, members of the league wanted to explore technology and what it means to the photographers, Mouangsavanh said.

Donations from sponsors such as Midwest Photo Exchange, World of Used Photography, Columbus Camera Group and AT&T help make the exhibition technologically advanced to go along with the theme. 

AT&T provided the league with Bluetooth speakers and a photo booth where individuals use their own smart phone as the camera. Mini tripods and shutter release triggers that are made for smart phones will be available as well for use in the photo booth at the exhibit. 

Also through AT&T the league acquired Zinc GL10, a wireless Bluetooth printer that uses color crystals that are in the paper instead of ink to print directly, Mouangsavanh said. 

The event programs will be digital too. There will be a “QRcode” that a smart phone can scan and will take you to a website that has a program about the exhibit. 

“It’s almost like a virtual gallery,” Mouangsavanh said.

The exhibition is open to undergraduate and graduate students. For the Beginnings” exhibit last semester there were around 65 submissions, and only 28 were accepted. 

At the exhibit, there will be a raffle for a $150 tripod that Midwest Photo Exchange donated to the Photo League. Tickets for the raffle cost $1 each.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is located at 30 W. Woodruff Ave. Announcements and prizes will start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and the exhibit is set to run through April 10. 


An earlier version of this story said the submitters of the top four photographs will win a $50 gift card to Columbus Camera Group. In fact, the submitters of the top four photographs will win a $50 gift card to Midwest Photo Exchange.

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