My name is Chen Tianqiutao, and I originally come from Shandong, China. I joined Cal Poly community last fall and have been enjoying working here. Currently a Visiting Artist and Lecturer in Photo/Video in the Department of Art and Design at the College of Liberal Arts, I teach diverse photography courses that explore subjects like artificial lighting, B&W darkroom photography, and multimedia production. At Cal Poly, I was lucky enough to encounter Learn by Doing. In my classes, I have utilized this effective pedagogical method enabling my students to have sufficient hands-on experience with a range of photo/video techniques, so they can gain technical competency and be ready on day one to take on various practical tasks in the real world. Meanwhile, I encourage learners to investigate photography as an accessible artistic language to cultivate their self-expressions and sensitivities to the world.

Last quarter, the Art and Design Department and the University Art Gallery presented my solo exhibition Somewhere Else. The show comprised three bodies of work I had been working on for the past few years, exploring contemporary social and cultural issues and collective human perceptions and experiences. Somewhere Else contained multidimensional storytelling as impactful mental explorations and interpretations of our world, resonating with the university community. In addition, I was invited to be a guest juror for the 2023 Art & Design Juried Student Exhibition. I was impressed by the diverse work students submitted to the juried show. Their works created in art and design classes clearly showed their creativity and passion. The Juried Student Show is currently on display at the University Art Gallery. It is absolutely worth checking out.

I feel grateful to be teaching and working at Cal Poly, also learning from the great students and colleagues. The diverse opportunities offered by the Art and Design Department have helped me advance my professional career. In return, I will dedicate myself to contributing to the university community.