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July 16, 2010

ULM professor travels globe to promote photo art exhibit of Katrina’s aftermath

Dr. Bette J. Kauffman, an associate professor of communication at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, recently traveled to Sydney, Australia, for the Fifth International Arts Society Conference.

She is there to speak about her exhibit, “WATERLINE: An interactive photo installation.” The exhibit is a compilation of photos taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The 8 by 12-inch photos pay careful detail to the water lines created throughout New Orleans after the storm and align across approximately 125 linear feet of continuous images to leave an indelible impact on the audience.

The interactive portion of the exhibit is the white foam core panel space left around the photos for observers to write personal comments and memorials upon, according to Kaufmann.

“I love New Orleans,” said Kauffman. “I wanted to contribute to rebuilding the city; we must rebuild and preserve its culture.”

Kauffman said New Orleans is a “precious resource” and the shoreline is such a treasure that often does not get the recognition it deserves.

The exhibit is too large to accompany Kauffman to Sydney, but she will show a video created by Alicia Gholar, a former graduate student of communication at ULM, as well as deliver a speech titled “Asking Visually: Constructing Community and Identity in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”

In early August, Kauffman is scheduled to present her exhibit at the Louisiana State Archives in Baton Rouge, and again in Denver, Colo., at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference as part of the "Creative Projects" program.

Kauffman received the opportunity to travel to Australia and Baton Rouge through the McKneeley Professorship in Humanities, a position into which she was recently appointed.

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