Fine Arts Work Center In Provincetown

2024 Summer Workshops

David Hilliard The Photograph as Language: The Art of Visual Storytelling July 7 to July 12, 2019 Tuition: $750 Workshop: 9am-1pm Discipline: Photography OPEN TO ALL On-site Housing Available

Explore photography as a universal storytelling language. From its inception the photographic medium has been expected to prove, explain or entertain; its very mechanical nature asks it to be precise. The workshop is designed to challenge your notions of what your photographs can do. During this week, you will concentrate on storytelling and finding clarity within what you make and how you speak about it. You may be a photographer who is compelled to build a narrative or a writer who longs to explore how plot can translate into imagery. Your stories may be fact or fiction, staged or found, poems or novels.

You will be asked to think about, shoot and edit your photographs to most effectively present your ideas and create a moving experience for both yourself and the viewer. You may explore text, multiple images, bookmaking, collage and even the use of audio/music. All working methodologies will be encouraged and explored. This workshop is a wonderful opportunity to challenge your current photographic practice; break old habits and create new ones. We will look at multiple genres of photography such as portraiture, landscape and still life as a visual language with which to tell a story and create a project.

Participants will be encouraged to write a concise artist statement that speaks to their intentions, practices and technical choices. There will be ongoing presentations of artists working with the notion of narrative and storytelling as well as short readings. A portfolio review will also be offered for each participant.

Please bring samples of work that you would like to discuss and perhaps build upon. Physical prints or digital files are both acceptable. As part of your materials fee, you will be given ten sheets of photo paper for making prints. Additional sheets may be purchased from the Work Center for $1 per sheet.


David Hilliard creates large-scale multi-paneled color photographs, often based on his life or the lives of people around him.  His panoramas direct the viewer’s gaze across the image surface allowing narrative, time and space to unfold.  David received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and MFA from the Yale University School of Art.  He worked for many years as an assistant professor at Yale University where he also directed the undergraduate photo department.  He currently teaches in Boston at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design and Lesley Art + Design. He also leads photography workshops throughout the country. David exhibits his photographs both nationally and internationally and has been the recipient of numerous awards such as the Fulbright Grant and Guggenheim Fellowship.  His photographs can be found in many important collections including the Whitney Museum of American art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  His work is represented by the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, Carroll and Sons Gallery in Boston, Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta and The Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, MA.  David Hilliard has multiple publications including his recent monograph, “What Could Be”, published by  Minor Matters Books