Acclaimed Photographer Andre Wagner to Visit as BVU Artist in Residence
To encourage students to uncover new methods and perspectives, BVU's Artist in Residence program brings an artist each year to its Storm Lake campus. This year, 2010 graduate Andre Wagner returns to campus to share his story, his artwork, and his commitment to social justice.
A nationally renowned photographer and Buena Vista University alum returns to campus this fall to work with students and the Storm Lake community as an Artist in Residence.
Andre Wagner, a 2010 BVU graduate, will reside in Storm Lake while educating and working with BVU students for four weeks starting in mid-September. Additionally, Wagner will use his skills as a photographer to chronicle aspects of life within Storm Lake for an exhibit to be displayed at the BVU Art Gallery on campus this fall. The exhibit will be open to the public.
Wagner’s work in New York City and elsewhere has been hailed by organizations supporting both the arts and social justice. Wagner was featured by CBS and The New York Times for his landmark photography in 2020, a time of social unrest across the U.S. as the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum. CBS This Morning aired an essay Wagner wrote, “On Being a Black Photographer” to accompany black-and-white photos he shot and developed.
“I have been blessed in my career as a photographer to present the complex nuances of daily life in many communities throughout the U.S.,” says Wagner, whose photographs have been commissioned by The New Yorker, New York Times, The Cut, W Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time Magazine, Vogue, and many more. “It is a humbling career challenge to present people in their daily lives, but one that allows me to learn each day about behavior, relationships, race, class, and cultural identity. I hope to be able continue to learn and learn with BVU students and others as I spend time this fall at a place that helped me discover and nurture my passion in this field.”
“Andre’s use of photography, primarily black-and-white photography, offers us a unique window into cultural identity while allowing us to examine ourselves as we strive to grow more empathetic and understanding of one another.”
Dr. Dixee Bartholomew-Feis, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts
Wagner majored in social work at BVU and was mentored in photography by Dr. Bruce Ellingson, Professor of Digital Media, Emeritus.
The Omaha, Neb., native was also an all-conference player and a captain on the Beavers men’s basketball teams that won three league titles during his playing days. His wife, Lindsay Peoples Wagner, a 2012 BVU graduate, serves as editor-in-chief of The Cut, a magazine based in New York City.
“Having a wonderfully talented and successful professional like Andre Wagner spending time working with BVU students this fall represents a highlight not only for the students who will watch his work progress, but for the entire campus community,” says Dr. Dixee Bartholomew-Feis, Dean of the BVU School of Liberal Arts. “Andre’s passion and desire to connect people and communities begins with his quest to better understand our neighbors and ourselves. His use of photography, primarily black-and-white photography, offers us a unique window into cultural identity while allowing us to examine ourselves as we strive to grow more empathetic and understanding of one another.”
Wagner, whose working exhibit title during his Artist in Residence time is called, “Andre D. Wagner—Back to Storm Lake, Iowa,” culminates his stay with an exhibit to debut in time for BVU’s Homecoming weekend, Oct. 15-17. His four-week residency at BVU is supported by benefactors whose gifts allow BVU to build upon the success of the Artist in Residence initiative, which began with an online weekslong program by artist Peter Carlson during the past academic year. Wagner’s work with students at BVU represents the second effort in what will become an annual Artist in Residence program.