Faculty Spotlight

Meet Your Professor: Edie Bresler

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

Edie Bresler with advanced students
Professor Bresler with advanced students.

My first college experience was as a biology/chemistry major at the University of Vermont. I dropped out after my sophomore year and spent the next two years working and traveling in Europe and the Middle East. That's when I knew I wanted to follow my dream to make photography my career.

I studied at the School of Visual Arts in NYC for my BFA in Photography and got my MFA at LUCAD in Boston.

Tell us about your role at Simmons.

I direct the photography program for the Department of Art & Music and oversee both the digital and analog labs. These are really creative spaces and I can't wait to welcome students back to them in the future. Another role I take great pride in is advising. I work with first-year students, photography minors and arts administration majors.

Do you have a favorite course you teach?

Every class is special in its own unique way. I love how as the students change, so do the discussions and outcomes.

What's your favorite thing about Simmons?

Hands down it's the students. But I also have to give a shout out to my colleagues in the Art & Music Department, who make the 4th floor of the MCB a beautiful hive of creativity and friendship.

What inspired you to work in photography and academia?

I just love that moment when the light bulb of understanding turns on for a student. Even after 30 years of teaching, that never gets old! I'm inspired to see my students find their creative voice.

Are there any projects you've been working on lately?

Professor Edie Bresler's artwork for A Yellow Rose Project

Artists always have projects in the works! Since my solo exhibit at Gallery Kayafas in January 2020, I continue to explore handmade photography, especially cyanotype and anthotypes. I'm preparing for an upcoming talk for the Davis Museum at Wellesley College on October 22 as part of their symposium on handmade photography.

I also recently delivered a new work (on right) to A Yellow Rose Project — a national traveling exhibit celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the 19th amendment, granting women the right to vote. I combine collaboration with chance encounters. Using a light sensitive cyanotype emulsion, I expose it with sunlight in collaboration with participants from my local community. Mothers, children, and co-workers having lunch outside helped create the silhouettes of hands playing tug of war with string and sticks. Later, after processing, I draw with water-based crayons to echo the colored sashes worn by women marching for suffrage. Purple, yellow and instead of white, I chose green. Green represents the hope for a more equitable future.

If we visited your home office, what would we see?

Right now a little bit of organized chaos! I have a bunch of different projects going on simultaneously on my tables amid framed images, a variety of cameras, negatives, a scanner and my computer.

What's the last book you read?

Nonfiction: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. Fiction: The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

Is there a TV show you're binging?

Over the summer I was obsessing about The OA and Sense 8 on Netflix.

Are there any Instagram accounts you've been following lately?

I encourage everyone to check out #backtothebase on Instagram — a collaborative platform for photographers all across the country using film.

Also, of course, our photo department's Instagram: @simmonsuniverse_photo. A majority of the posts feature the creative work of Simmons students.

Do you have any advice for students this semester?

This is such a strange and stressful time so be sure to stay open to possibilities, ask questions and treasure every moment of joy.

Photography students with cameras

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