Johns Hopkins University hosts exhibit of students photos from a study abroad class to Ireland

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Anne Duncan poses for a photo at the exhibit.

The Center for Visual Arts and the Office of Study Abroad of the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is hosting an exhibition of photos taken by students, a six credit course, to Ireland earlier this year.

The photos can be viewed in the Jones Building, Mattin Center, on the campus of JHU. It is located at 3400 N. Charles St., 21218.

County Clare in the Wild West of Ireland was the location for the photography study by the students. It is bordered on the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Clare is part of the ancient Irish province of Connacht. Like other western counties in this mix, it it very rural and has a number of the population that still speak the Irish language.

I had an opportunity Friday to view the riveting photos from the study abroad and also chat with one of the participants, Anne Duncan. I found her photos, along with those of the other students, to be stunning.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, she told me: “It was a Hopkins program to Ireland. We were in County Clare for a month. We stayed in the town of Ballyvaughan, which is know for its Irish music and festivals. “The Burren College of Art which was our base was in a refurbished old castle,” Duncan added.

Duncan said it was truly a wonderful experience and that the beauty of County Clare added to her Irish artistic adventure.  She’s an English Major, with a minor in Arts. Ms. Duncan said she not only “likes to read poetry, but to write it, too.”

One of her favorite poets is an Irish one – the late, great Seamus Heaney. Duncan commented on how she used some of the imagery in Heaney’s sonnets “to inspire her photography.”  She took the time on the trip and in her studies to reflect on the “human interactions with the landscape.” Her goal was, she added, “to connect the text with the imagery and to put these two genres together with the photography.”

The instructor for the Study Abroad Class in Ireland was Phyllis Berger. She is the “Photography Supervisor in the Center for Visual Arts.” Mrs. Berger is also well known in the Baltimore community for her photography skills.

Because of time limitations, I only had a chance to talk in depth with one of the students. Trust me the work that they produced is indeed very impressive. You can also check out the students’ Facebook page to see some of County Clare’s captivating landscape, including an old abandoned shipwreck, at:

To learn more about JHU’s “Center for Visual Arts, go to: ttp://

If you get a chance, don’t miss this exhibition by the JHU students. It also includes a delightful slide show. You will think you are back in old Ireland for sure.

To check out more of my photos, go to my Facebook page.