Girl looking at X-rays, Girl doing chemistry, shot of a keyboard

Fine and Performing Arts

Ruth Foote

Ruth Foote

Associate Professor and Program Facilitator, Photography

Classes Taught:

  • PHO 121 Black and White Photography
  • PHO 122 Color Photography I
  • PHO 123 Digital Photography I
  • PHO 130 Introduction to Visual Communication
  • PHO 150 Large Format I
  • PHO 202 History and Theory of Photo
  • PHO 203 Digital Photography Assistant
  • PHO 280 Alternative and Historic Process
  • PHO 295 Portfolio Preparation

Ruth Foote, originally from the Detroit area, is currently Associate Professor and Coordinator for the Photography Program. She is also a part-time resident of upstate New York, where she spends summers working in her studio.

Photography has been part of her life since before she was born. Her parents documented important events that were then shared communally via slideshows. Her first camera was a 126 instamatic and she continued the family tradition. Although interested in the arts, Foote was discouraged from becoming a starving artist during college. Instead, she studied environmental biology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. After earning her bachelor's degree, she spent several years in the environmental advocacy field working for watchdog organizations such as the Sierra Club. Her career took a different direction after she rekindled her personal interest in photography and pursued her Master of Fine Art at Southern Illinois University.

During her graduate work, she discovered her passion for teaching and has been in the classroom ever since. Prior to Owens, she taught at a number of colleges and universities throughout the Midwest, including Rochester Institute of Technology, Skidmore College, and University of Michigan. Her teaching experience includes beginning through advanced levels in both wet darkroom and digital applications.

Foote's award-winning work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Her personal artwork covers a range of subjects and technologies. She believes that the message of the work drives what medium is most appropriate. Movement and multiple exposures are distinct visual elements in much of her work, as she seeks images that convey an interpretive emotional feel, rather than a descriptive illustration of fact. She still has that 126 instamatic but prefers her pinhole camera; or she occasionally uses digital SLR's or old view cameras to create a range of imagery from Daguerreotypes to Ink jet prints.

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