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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Portrait of an Artist

    Jake Lacey / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Jerry Halfmann is a photographer and also a photo teacher at Tucson High
    Jake Lacey
    Jake Lacey / Arizona Daily Wildcat Jerry Halfmann is a photographer and also a photo teacher at Tucson High

    Who: Jerry Halfmann, artist and photography teacher at Tucson High School.

    What: Museum of Contemporary Art honors Halfmann on Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Dunbar Spring Auditorium, 325 E. Second St., for his 29 years of teaching at Tucson High School.

    Bio: Jerry Halfmann has been teaching since 1977 and has a BA in Graphic Arts Education from Arizona State University and an MA in Vocational Education from Northern Arizona University. Imaging Educators Association in 1993 recognized him as one of the top three photo educators in the country. Halfmann’ s students have become successful in their own right in careers of art and photography.

    Wildcat: What inspires you?

    Halfmann: The kids, watching them get better. Watching them turn into artists, seeing them grow constantly and seeing their work get a unique style. That’s what keeps me going. I like teaching photography. Take a project from the beginning, you can actually see some accomplishment. It’s really exciting to me.

    W: What art inspires you?

    H: One artist who inspires me is Jerry Uelsmann, who does multiple exposures. Photojournalism was my training, as far as photography goes, so the photojournalists inspire me. I can’t really give you a specific name, many have inspired me.

    W: What mediums do you work in?

    H: I started out with photojournalism, and then I got out of that. And then I was going into nature landscape and outdoors type of thing. Then I started going into portraits, real extreme close ups of people and parts of people. I am always evolving, constantly changing. As your art develops, you keep trying to change it, make it better. Now I’m starting to get into digital stuff like Photoshop.

    W: What is your most recent work?

    H: The latest stuff is several years old, I don’t have a lot of time to spend on my own personal work. I enjoy teaching more. This is my 29th year at Tucson High. Some of my graduated students are artists or art teachers right now, or they’re museum curators. They’re doing their own thing.

    W: When did you start making art?

    H: I started my junior year in high school. Some of my friends said “”take this photography class.”” It sounded like a fun class, so I signed up for it.

    W: What piece have you done that you’re most proud of?

    H: There are three things I can think of. I go up to northern Arizona a lot. So I’ve taken a lot of pictures of canyons, Page, Ariz., and Lake Powell. I went to Yosemite with people and got some great stuff there. I also went to Tunisia in Africa and got some of my best work there.

    W: Do you collaborate with other artists?

    H: Yes, working on projects. I have in the past, like the Yosemite trip. There were four photographers.

    W: What do you think of Tucson?

    H: I love it. It’s a great place to be. It’s a great place to photograph, not just because of the landscape, but because of the people, the buildings and the architecture. And you cannot beat the sunsets. There are some really excellent photographers here in town.

    W: What’s next for you?

    H: I’m working on some more projects, landscape type things and portraits of people. Who knows when I’ll retire, maybe in two or three years. When I’m done teaching I’ll have time to work on my personal photography.

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