Dennie Eagleson

Dennie Eagleson

 Artist of the Earth and Its Inhabitants

Dennie Eagleson came to Yellow Springs in 1967 as a freshman attending Antioch college. As a student, she became interested in natural materials and their extensions into the worlds of art and academics. She studied plants, sustainable gardening, and fabric dying. Eventually, Dennie’s fascination with the earth developed into a love affair with clay and she became a ceramics major and later a professional ceramic artist. Dennie focused primarily on hand building, pit firing and raku, and she created art objects that carried aesthetic and conceptual messages.

In the early 1980’s, Dennie started experimenting with photography and began to exhibit her photographs in 1984. She took a day job as manager of Click Camera, which allowed her to hone her dark room and color printing skills. Eventually, she left the camera shop to work as a freelance photographer and videographer.

In the late 1980’s, Dennie began teaching as an adjunct instructor at Antioch College. After receiving her MFA from the University of Cincinnati, she became a full tenured professor in Antioch’s Art Department . What she has found most satisfying about teaching is her role in “supporting students to reach their fullest articulations of their passions and chosen craft.”

In 1994, Dennie took advantage of professional development funds from Antioch College to traveled to Cuba. There she created relationships with Cuban photographers. She returned to curate Cuban shows at Antioch’s Herndon Gallery, as well as other galleries in Ohio, Illinois and Colorado. These show, she remembers, “involved a lot of risk and personal investment. The experiences pushed me out of my comfort zone and there were huge personal rewards.”

Dennie facilitate a number of workshops during her trips to Cuba. She took photo supplies, which were not readily available to the participants, and taught printing and darkroom techniques. These students had a background with  the theoretical aspects of photography, and now with the tools and skills in hand were able to bring artistic voice to their experiences. The following year Dennie was invited by Cuban women journalist to present about representations of women in the media. They needed an outside, critical voice to share about women’s rights and experiences. She facilitated another workshop where women photographers created representations of other women. And in another workshop, she taught participants to use pinhole cameras to take pictures of Havana. She recalls that “these workshops generated amazing results. The work was like gold, really precious.”

Following the Cuban experiences, Dennie went to Nicaragua with Hazel Tellecki, and interviewed women recipients of micro-loans. She went to Sarajevo with the program “Top Brass” on an official visit with musical performances, television coverage, etc. In 1998, Dennie had an exhibit of her photographs of Nicaragua at Yellow Springs Arts Council’s John Bryan Community Gallery. The show was a fundraiser for El Jícaro, Nicaraguan sister village to Yellow Springs.

Dennie Eagleson is currently the Artist Director of the Antioch College Herndon Gallery. Drawing on her years as artist, educator and professional curator, Dennie brings a rich array of art exhibits to the College. Her work not only brings profound educational experiences to Antioch college students, but to the Village of Yellow Springs and surrounding areas.

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