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adjunct prof. katie mcgown opens shrinking lessons at usu projects gallery 

Feb 14, 2023

Katie McGowan, Look Away

An exhibition of cyanotype works by Utah State University adjunct photography professor Katie McGowan will be featured at USU’s Projects Gallery, Feb. 13-17.

Katie McGowan: shrinking lessons will feature works utilizing domestic textiles and the historic cyanotype process to explore themes related to femininity, gender roles, and politics of McGowan’s native American South.

McGowan, originally from Texas, is an interdisciplinary artist based in Salt Lake City. She received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2020, graduating as a University Honors Scholar. She holds an MFA in photography from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. McGowan currently teaches introductory photography courses in the USU Department of Art + Design.

Concurrent to her exhibition, cyanotype works created by McGowan’s Photo I students will be on view in the USU Art + Design display cases located on the ground floor of USU’s Fine Arts Visual Building. McGowan will also share images via a “takeover” of the USU Photo Instagram account (@USUPhoto) during the exhibition.

Discovered by astronomer/scientist Sir John Herschel in 1842, the cyanotype process is one of the oldest photographic printing processes. Its distinctively rich cyan blue color is created by a photochemical reaction of UV light on iron salt compounds, resulting in a “blueprint” originally intended to reproduce notes and drawings.  The process was notably used by botanist/photographer Anna Atkins in 1843 to create one of the first photographic books, the three-volume “Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions.” Today, the cyanotype process remains an important and expressive medium employed by a wide range of contemporary artists.

“Katie’s cyanotype works are subtle and complex, merging a fundamental photographic process with contemporary concerns and conceptual rigor––precisely the kind of work ideal for our students to see and learn from,” says Jared Ragland, Assistant Professor and Photography Area Coordinator.  “We are delighted to have Katie teach in the USU Photo program and for the many ways her thoughtful art practice serves as an influence and inspiration to our students.”

For more information about Katie’s work, visit  

The USU Projects Gallery serves as an adaptive platform for USU students, faculty, and community to engage teaching, research, and visual art practices. The gallery is located on the ground floor of the USU Fine Arts Building and open from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.

For questions contact Projects Gallery coordinator Antra Sinha at

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