Bill Gaskins

Bill Gaskins explores photography, cinema, and portraiture in the 21st century from an interdisciplinary professional and academic foundation including his commissioned body of arts and culture writing framed through the history of photography, art, and African-American studies scholarship. An important entry point for Gaskins's work is his fascination with the myths of photography and American life revealed through representations of race as visual culture. His work has garnered attention through books, catalogs, and solo and group exhibitions at major venues including the Crocker Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Smithsonian Museum. He is also a faculty member in the Program in American Studies and the Department of Performance and Media Arts at Cornell.

Gaskins earned his B.F.A. from the Tyler School of Art, an M.A. from Ohio State University, and an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

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Classes (Selected)

  • ART 2601 Introduction to PhotographyThis course explores camera and lens as devices that frame and translate three-dimensional space to a two-dimensional surface. Through assignments and individual investigation, students acquire a deeper understanding of visual perception and photography as medium for personal expression. This course introduces students to film-based photographic processes and assumes no prior knowledge of photography.
  • ART 4000 Studio Research WorkshopThis advanced studio workshop fosters investigation of artistic intention behind the development of complex visual and non-visual expression. It begins with assignments structured to identify the conceptual and formal considerations central to each student's individual artistic objectives. Once identified, these become the basis for rigorous investigation and research. The resulting body of work informs and supports advanced thesis projects and art practices beyond thesis year.
  • ART 4001 Senior Thesis StudioThis course continues the independent studio research and production of the Advanced Practice course to prepare students for ART 4002: Thesis II.  During Thesis I, students begin to research, develop, and clarify their thesis proposals through dialogues, readings, and critiques with members of the Core Thesis Faculty. Emphasis is on deepening awareness of the intention and reading of the work and situating individual interests within and against historical, theoretical, and conceptual contexts.
  • AMST 3010 Photography and The American Dream
  • PMA 2000 Light as Subject — from Photography to Cinema

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships (Selected)

  • University Distinguished Teaching Award, New School University (2011)
  • James P. Duffy Endowed Visiting Professor, Department of Art and Art History, Wayne State University (2011)
  • Artist-in-Residence, Center for Race, Culture and Politics, University of Chicago (2010)

Exhibitions and Presentations (Selected)

  • Presentation: "About Learning," Society for Photographic Education National Conference (2013)
  • Film screening: The Meaning of Hope, Detroit Institute of Arts (2013)
  • Public lecture: "What is the History of Photography," Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art (2013)

Publications (Selected)

  • "The Hairdresser Knows What the Looking Glass Doesn't," Sonya Clark The Hair Craft Project, catalog essay (2015, forthcoming)
  • "The Need's Got To Be So Deep," album liner notes, Darryl Harper Hipnotic Records (2014)
  • "Cornell Perspectives: Americans Get a Bloodless View of War," Cornell Chronicle (2012)