LaGuardia Community College’s Student Photography Exhibition on Chile at the Queens Museum of Art from May 5 to the 26th

Long Island City, NY—April 26, 2013—Chile, a country with a rich culture, modern cosmopolitan capital and breathtaking natural beauty with its jungles, fjords, glaciers, lakes and volcanoes, is the subject of a Queens Museum of Art Partnership Gallery photography exhibition by LaGuardia Community College Commercial Photography students. The exhibition runs from May 5 through the 26; the opening reception will be held on May 9.


“Expedition: Chile,” is an eclectic collection of some 60 striking black-and-white and color images that were taken by 23 students who studied abroad in January 2012 and 2013. Captured are magnificent landscapes, formal portraiture, candid images of life in Chile, and lyrical documentary. The exhibition also includes panoramas that are up to 20 feet in length and several short films that document the agriculture, cuisine, culture and landscape.


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The May 9th reception will be hosted at the museum’s Unisphere Gallery at the New York City Building in Flushing Meadows Corona Park from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The exhibition will be held in the Partnership Gallery at the same location. Viewing hours are Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 6:00 p.m. For more information, please call (718) 482-5985 or (718) 349-4028 or e-mail


“LaGuardia truly appreciates that the Queens Museum of Art has agreed to host this wonderful student exhibition,” said Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College, “and to provide these talented photographers with a rare opportunity to showcase their work in this highly regarded cultural institution.”


“The Queens Museum of Art is proud to partner with a public university such as LaGuardia Community College, which provides opportunities for New York City students of all backgrounds to have the type of extensive field experiences that ready them to become professional photographers in a variety of global locations and challenging situations,” said Prerana Reddy, QMA director of public affairs.


To capture these exquisite images, the two groups of students embarked on the study abroad project that was part photography expedition and part eco-tour.  During the month-long tour, the groups biked through the streets of Santiago, kayaked next to dolphins and sea lions in the fjords near Puerto Varas, the lake district in Northern Patagonia, and climbed to the top of the Chaitén volcano. They hiked in the extremely remote New Patagonia Park in Chacabuco Valley and Pumalin Park in northern Patagonia, toured Cochrane, the land of the Gauchos, and visited the Baker River, a turquoise-blue glacial waterway that is the site of the country’s biggest hydroelectric project.


And all the while the students took photos. But, for the first group of photographers, their images did not come without a price. “Unfortunately, we had a few mishaps along the way,” said Scott Sternbach, chairperson of the Commercial Photography Program who led the expedition. 


That included a tropical rainstorm that stalled over southern Chile and trapped them in a beautiful cove with not-so-waterproof tents. The storm brought heavy winds that sunk their boat with most of their gear. Luckily, the majority of the students’ cameras were saved. Local fishermen rescued the drenched group, took them back to their fishing village and welcomed them with a feast.  


The rain followed them throughout their tour of Patagonia’s fjords and again in Cohyaique, a small city in the Aysen region. Mother Nature finally decided to cooperate when they reached New Patagonia Park where they spent a number of days hiking and exploring. Sunny skies greeted them at Cochrane, the land of the Gauchos where they enjoyed a festival; and at Baker River, where they photographed the beautiful river before dams are built. 


“Fortunately, the rain gods were kind to the second group, and it was blessed with sunny weather,” said Mr. Sternbach. “The cohort also ventured as far as El Bolson, an artist community in the mountains of Argentina.”


“The students on both trips unanimously agreed that the study abroad experiences were life changing,” said Mr. Sternbach. “No other community college offers their students an experience where they are immersed in a country’s culture, interact with its people and enjoy its natural beauty. We hope to offer this experience to future commercial photography students.”  


Johnny Tsang, who was a member of the 2012 group, admitted that he wasn’t that enthused about the project, but that quickly changed. “The country is amazing with its wonderful people, its beautiful landscape and its great food,” said Johnny, who added that the high point of the trip for him was Chacabuco Valley. “It was there that I really settled in and focused on my work.”


The visit to Baker River also left an impression on the young photographer. He said he was concerned about the impact the dams will have on this beautiful site.  “Through my photographs,” he said, “I want to tell people how this project can affect this beautiful land.”


On the recent sojourn, Md Basunia said he split his time between photographing the country’s landscape and people and shooting a travelogue of the group’s trip.


“The experience was incredible,” he said. “It enriched me as a photographer and as a person.”


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LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit to learn more.