Fritz wins SPE Imagemaker Award

Dana Fritz
Dana Fritz

Dana Fritz, professor of art and art history, received the Society for Photographic Education's Imagemaker Award at a March 7-10 conference in Chicago.

The award goes to an artist presenting for the first time as an image maker at the SPE national conference, who shows exceptional promise and outstanding achievement, evidenced by a high ranking by the peer review panel.

Fritz’s presentation, “Terrania Gigantica: The World Under Glass,” featured her project that explores three of the world’s largest enclosed landscapes that stand as working symbols of the human race's current and complex relationship with the natural world. The three landscapes are Biosphere 2’s ocean in Arizona, Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s desert dome and Eden Project’s tropical rainforest in Cornwall, England.

“I worked on 'Terraria Gigantica: the World Under Glass' from 2007 to 2011 with lots of support from UNL, including two Hixson-Lied Faculty Grants, a Research Council Grant-in-Aid and a grant from the Arts and Humanities Enhancement Fund,” Fritz said. “Without this financial support for travel, equipment and supplies and an artist residency at Biosphere 2, this five-year project would not have been possible. I was honored to present the finished project at the conference and to receive such a generous award from an organization I hold in high regard.”

Ten UNL photography students joined Fritz at the conference. Senior Drew Davis of Omaha, attended Fritz’s conference lecture.

“I thought it was a well thought out lecture and gave me greater insight into what she does and how she thinks as an artist. I was very excited for her. It brought me a great pride to know that I am being taught by someone who is well respected in the photo world,” Davis said. “I feel she is a great instructor. She provides feedback that helps me move forward in my work, and she presents challenges that also help to develop my thought process.”

Graduate student Allen Morris from Portland, Ore., said he was pleased to see his professor win the award.

“It speaks volumes about not only her ability to make work, but her ability to speak about her work and conceptualize wonderful photographs,” Morris said.

Fritz said the SPE Conferences are important for photographers.

“SPE conferences not only enable us to learn about photography, they also enable us to learn through photography about all kinds of other subjects. This vital aspect of photography keeps me engaged and inspired,” she said.

— Kathe Andersen, Fine and Performing Arts