Press Release - Office of College Advancement

Friday, April 8, 2011
Office of College Advancement
Ohlone College

For Immediate Release:

Award Winning Ohlone College Professor Exhibits his Photographic Talent

Alan Kirshner holding a Nikon camera.Photojournalist and Ohlone Professor Alan Kirshner. —Photo courtesy of Alan Kirshner.

Fremont, CA—Ohlone College is proud to announce the photographic exhibit of Dr. Alan Kirshner, professor of political science and history, on display in the Friedkin Art Gallery at Contra Costa JCC on Tice Valley Boulevard in Walnut Creek, opening April 14th and running through May 15th. Kirshner, a national award-winning photojournalist, has used many of his photographs to illustrate the political science textbook he wrote and teaches at Ohlone, now in its sixth edition, as well as numerous other books and magazine articles in which he has been published over the years.

Born into a family with more than the usual share of artistic ability, which expressed itself in the diverse areas of architecture, sculpting, ballet, jewelry and costume design to name just a few, Alan says of his early beginnings, “My only claim to any artistic talent was my ability not to color inside the lines on the worksheets I received in elementary school. My teachers saw me as an artistic loser; however, my ‘creativity’ gave my parents some hope.”

Group of people gathered on the grass.First Earth Day celebration in April 1970, shot with a Nikon FTn. —Photo courtesy of Alan Kirshner.

“My first experience with photography occurred at about the age of six when my father, Moe, brought me into his darkroom. He gave me the chance to dip a few of his photographs into the solutions for developing and fixing the pictures. [Later,] I found my creative self when I bought my first camera as a student at the University of the Americas in Mexico City in 1956. I enjoyed what I later learned could be called photojournalism.”

He uses photography to tell a story—his story, he says, although he knows each story will be perceived differently by the viewer. As Alan says, “That is what any art is about.”

Very large, reflective, shaped like a fat arc located among tall buildings.The Cloud Gate sculpture by Anish Kapoor in Millennium Park, Chicago, July 2009, with a Nikon D3 and Nikon Fisheye lens 16mm. —Photo courtesy of Alan Kirshner.

Dr. Kirshner reaches his 40-year milestone of teaching at Ohlone this September. Although he has considered retirement a few times, he keeps coming back because of the students. In addition to his interests in scholarship, politics, photography, and teaching, Kirshner has interests ranging as far afield as chess and power lifting. Kirshner and his wife of more than 30 years, Susan, are the parents of three sons.

The Contra Costa Jewish Community Center is located at 2071 Tice Valley Boulevard, Walnut Creek, CA. The exhibit, entitled Generations: Selections from the Kirshner Family of Artists, commences on Thursday, April 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm with a free artists talk and wine reception.

For more information, please email or call (925) 938- 7800, ext. 240.


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