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Peterson Donates Book Capturing Her Creative Photography to STLCC

Kristen Peterson and Davina HarrisonA nationally acclaimed retired professional photographer and longtime St. Louis Community College student has donated her new book to the Meramec campus library.

Kristen Peterson, who has taken classes at Meramec’s Center for Visual Technology practically since it opened, recently donated her book, “Visual Delights: Photographs & Altered Books.” It features what Peterson describes as “47 years of my creative photography.”

The book features the exhibition and details of the altered books of her recent curated exhibition at the Sheldon Art Galleries. It includes a mix of black and white, color, film and digital images, as well as experts’ comments on the images that give readers an intimate look at Peterson’s experiences.

Peterson presented the book to Davina Harrison, right, a librarian in instructional resources at Meramec, in the accompanying photo. 

“I want to donate my artwork as a teaching tool, to be curated and learned from,” Peterson said.

Michael Swoboda, professor of graphic communications at Meramec, describes Peterson as “a whirlwind of energy, a constant source of curiosity, a knowledge seeker, and a frenetic sifter of photographic narratives past and present.”

“Like all my best students, I tend to learn more from Kristen than I can teach her. She is a maker of things and composer of stories that contain poetic pacing, elegant compositions and highly articulate memoirs,” Swoboda said. “In her work we see the souvenirs of life — the adventures of an active, engaged existence told often in unconventional, layered, and tactile ways. Not only does Kristen create work, but she also readily shares her experiences, knowledge and resources with others, and has been an informal mentor to many of our students who come from diverse backgrounds. This spirit of cultivating collaboration is a most admirable trait.”

Kristen Peterson's bookPeterson became a professional corporate and editorial photographer in 1974. Projects included travel in the United States, Mexico, South America, Western Europe, Morocco, Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China and Japan.

Her photos have been published in international, national and regional publications including Esquire, People, Time, Domus and Actual, as well as the books “Images of St. Louis, 1989,” and “Those Magnificent Clydesdales the Gentle Giants.”

Peterson's work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and locally at Washington University, Webster University, the Messing Gallery at Mary Institute Country Day School, and the Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery.

Peterson has won numerous honors from the National Federation of Press Women and the grand prize, Kinsa, sponsored by Kodak, and is now in the permanent collection in the George Eastman House in New York.

Peterson sponsors an annual lecture series at Meramec to introduce students, faculty and the community to the work of local photographers of distinction, and to encourage and inspire students to pursue and complete a degree at STLCC.

The series serves to showcase the array of creative photography in the St. Louis area, and provides professional and networking opportunities for students who are enrolled in the Center for Visual Technology. Peterson has taken classes there for 22 years.

“People who know, know how great it is,” said Peterson of the center. “Teachers help you take something acceptable and turn around and make it into something amazing.”

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