Gary Harwood has worked as a photographer and teacher for more than 30 years. He teaches Visual Storytelling and other photography courses at Kent State University and is also an Artist in Residence with the Ohio Arts Council. He is the co-author of Tiger Legacy: Stories of Massillon Football and Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community. His work has appeared in the Communication Arts Photo Annual, the Graphis Photo Annual, The Sun Magazine, Double Take/Points of Entry and has twice won the James R. Gordon Ohio Understanding Award from the Ohio News Photographers Association’s Pictures of the Year competition. Tiger Legacy was selected as one of the ten best photography books for the summer of 2016 by American Photo Magazine and Growing Season won the Carter G. Woodson Honor Award from the National Council for the Social Studies and the Ohioana Book Award from the Ohioana Library Association. Growing Season was also selected by the Stark County Mayor’s Literacy Program for its annual One Book One Community reading program.
Gary’s favorite part of teaching is working with the students (by far). It is especially gratifying when they develop a love for photography and come to recognize the importance of photography as a form of communication and personal expression. For Gary, another advantage of teaching is that it compels him to think deeply about the nuances of the art form. He needs to truly understand what it takes to make memorable work before he can share it with others. This deeper understanding of the photographic process has made him a better photographer and hopefully a better teacher.
Ultimately, Gary has similar goals as a teacher and photographer; to reach that deeper place where connection and understanding lead to the most compelling visual experience whether in the field or in the classroom.
Grade Levels/Age Groups
- Grades 9-12
- Young Adult
Facilities and Resources Required
- Electrical outlets
- Projector screen or a white wall
The best use of my visits and contributions to the classroom is to incorporate my visits to the schools over the school year. I also teach classes at Kent State University, so the scheduling must be based on my other responsibilities.
Images courtesy of the teaching artist.