congratulations to our 2023 mfa + bfa graduates

May 4, 2023

A big, heartfelt congratulations and well done to our 2023 graduates Victoria Johnson, BFA; Andrew McAllister, MFA; Bailey Rigby, BFA; and Jc Santistevan, MFA! 

Each of our graduates have created thoughtful, engaging work during their studies at USU, and we look forward to the many successes to come.

As the campus celebrated graduation commencement this week, Victoria Johnson was featured in the Utah Statesman, where she discussed her journey to USU Photo and her thesis work. Read the story here: Victoria Johnson: Capturing life and the afterlife.

prof. ragland on assignment for the washington post 

May 3, 2023

Jared Ragland for The Washington Post 

Assistant Professor Jared Ragland has published photographs in The Washington Post for a story on a massive wind farm project near the Minidoka National Historic Site in Jerome, Idaho, which threatens to scour memories of deep suffering for the benefit of commercial interests. 

Read here: Biden’s renewable energy goals blow up against a painful WWII legacy.

visiting artist meg griffiths to lecture, lead bfa photo critiques

Apr 3, 2023

Artist and curator Meg Griffiths will be an artist-in-residence at Utah State University, April 11-12. She will give a lecture on her photographic practice at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 12 at Utah State University’s Chase Fine Arts Building, Room 109.

The lecture is presented by the Caine College of the Arts’ Department of Art + Design and the USU Photography area.

“Meg’s work grapples with the various modes of domestic, cultural, and political engagement that structure female experience in the United States,” said Assistant Professor of Photography Jared Ragland. “Her visual inquiries are driven by a desire to capture, develop, and share a closer understanding of female subjects and explore the intrinsic connections between self and other, interiority and positionality, kinship and community––important topics that are of primary interest to our predominantly female-identifying student body.”

Meg Griffiths is an artist, professor, independent curator, and co-founder of A Yellow Rose Project, a photographic collaboration of responses, reflections, and reactions to the 19th Amendment from over one hundred women across the United States. She is based in Denton, Texas, where she is Assistant Professor of Photography at Texas Woman’s University. Griffiths’ work has travelled nationally and internationally, and is placed in collections such as Center for Creative Photography, Capitol One Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Center for Fine Art Photography. Her book projects have been acquired by various institutions around the country including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Library, Duke University Libraries, Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Research Institute, and is included in the USU Photobook Special Collection.

In addition to her lecture, Griffiths will meet with advanced-level USU Bachelor of Fine Art photography students and conduct individual portfolio critiques.

For more information about Meg’s work, visit

senior bfa photo students open back-to-back exhibitions at usu projects gallery

Feb 21, 2023

Exhibitions of photographic works by Utah State University BFA seniors Victoria Johnson and Bailey Rigby will be featured at USU’s Projects Gallery Feb. 20-24 and Feb. 27-March 3.

Victoria Johnson, from the series “The body is only a vessel”

The first exhibition, “Victoria Johnson: the body is only a vessel,” features photographs documenting funeral homes as liminal spaces that reflect both the mundanity of death and the implied tension between the present and the afterlife.

Victoria Johnson is a Brazilian multidisciplinary artist whose photographs investigate suburban spaces, memory, and how people interact with their surrounding landscapes. Inspired by the unique relationship between the funeral professionals, grieving customers, and the commercial spaces used for rites of sepulture, Johnson has photographed sites of grieving including chapels, viewing rooms, and cemeteries across Cache and Box Elder counties.

Bailey Rigby, from the series “The Study of Last Things”

Following Johnson’s exhibition, “Bailey Rigby: The Study of Last Things” will feature photographs exploring indoctrination and identity and the particular pressures of family tradition and LDS church doctrine.

“While the LDS Church is now one of the largest organized religions in the United States, many members are stepping away due to conflicting political and moral beliefs, as well as doctrinal and experiential dilemmas,” Rigby says. “Through ‘The Study of Last Things’ I voice my own personal experiences of isolation and self-discovery in my apostasy.”

Rigby is a fine art photographer originally from Oklahoma. Her work embraces storytelling through an autobiographical approach that is grounded in archival, iconographic, and experiential research.

“At USU Photo, we are guided in our belief in photography’s critical role in contemporary culture, and Victoria and Bailey’s work reflects that ideal through their thoughtful visual research and meaningful storytelling,” says Jared Ragland, Assistant Professor and Photography Area Coordinator. “Whether documenting how and where we process grief or illustrating the matters of family and faith, each of their projects succeed in doing what great art should do by translating the universal to the personal and providing a platform for viewers to consider–and perhaps even challenge–social customs and beliefs.”

Johnson and Rigby will share their work via a “takeover” of the USU Photo Instagram account (@USUPhoto) during their exhibitions.

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 is open from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

For questions contact Projects Gallery coordinator Antra Sinha at

prof. ragland researcher of the year award + recent news 

Feb 15, 2023

Jared Ragland, from the series, Hellbender

Assistant Professor Jared Ragland has been selected as the 2022 USU Caine College of the Arts Faculty Researcher of the Year.  Nominations for the award are made by faculty from departments of Art + Design, Music, and Theatre Arts.

Also this week, The Conversation, a US/UK/Canadian outlet that publishes articles written by academic experts for the general public, has shared a story based on Prof. Ragland’s longterm photo-ethnographic research.  “When he’s not on drugs, he’s a good person’ – one community’s story of meth use and domestic violence” can be read here.

The Conversation takes its finding from a recent article, “Sex, drugs, and coercive control: Gendered narratives of methamphetamine use, relationships, and violence,” co-authored by Ragland with collaborators Heith Copes, Fiona Brookman, and Blake Beaton and published by the journal, Criminology. The Criminology article marks the first time the journal has published a photo essay in its history, signaling a significant development for narrative-driven, qualitative, and visual methods in the discipline.  The most recent journal rankings from the Institute for Scientific Information identifies Criminology as the leading professional journal in the field of Criminology (first out of 27), 6th of 96 in the field of Sociology, and 29th of 101 in the field of Law.  

Additionally, the journal Conflict and Society has announced “Changing Narratives of Intimate Partner Violence: A Longitudinal Photo-Ethnography,” co-authored by Ragland with Heith Copes and Lindsay Leban, as the journal’s most-viewed article of 2022. Conflict and Society is a journal covering the technologies, fields, and categories related to Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Political Science and International Relations, and Sociology and Political Science. It is published by Berghahn Journals. Changing Narratives... was published as part of a special section theme, “The Longitudinal Ethnography of Violence.” In the article Ragland et al explore how women’s narratives of abuse change, including narratives of self as well as narratives of their abusers.

To learn more about Ragland’s collaborative photo-ethnographic work, visit his website

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