“I’m not an artist,” says Bryan Clifton, chair of the photography department at the Museum School.“I’m an observer. Capturing moments in time that are real is my most compelling interest.”
And observe he has, throughout the United States and beyond, including Haiti, Peru, El Salvador, the Philippines, Colombia, Mexico, Uganda, the Netherlands, Belgium and Costa Rica. Bryan’s documentary approach was fueled by a deep respect for those striving to build and maintain a basic livelihood, and a passion for supporting projects that help them achieve it.
Bryan’s first international trip was to Belgium, and since then he has traveled the globe documenting efforts to strengthen communities and livelihoods around the world. In the U.S., Bryan works with domestic agencies to support the growth of small family farms, helping to develop local food networks and promote healthy eating.
When not on assignment, he teaches photography at the Arts Center Museum School.
“There’s this fear that if I don’t know how to use all the buttons, then I can’t make this work,” Bryan says. “But the art is in the approach and the perspective. When you explore alternative perspectives, you are much more likely to end up with an image that holds power.”
Bryan’s exhibition, Life in Light: Photographic Travels Through Latin America, is on display in the Museum School Gallery through Sunday, February 14. Life in Light presents a sample of the visual results of his own experiences traveling through the Americas. Having traveled the globe documenting the work of international development agencies, NGOs and progressive for-profits, Bryan has developed not only a passion for this kind of work, but also gained a conscientiousness of the often difficult existence of the people it touches.
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