Autistic student finds voice, self through photography
The Rhatigan Student Center Gallery is hosting “Photos of the Future,” a photography exhibit by Wichita State University student James Mitchell, from Monday, Nov. 21, through Friday, Dec. 2. Admission is free.
Mitchell, a Wichita native and graduate of Wichita High School East, began exploring photography during his senior year at East. His passion for the subject was evident immediately, and he earned good grades for the first time as a special education student.
He returned to photography when he came to study at Wichita State. In 2006, he received a $500 scholarship from the Ulrich Alliance, a group of supporters of the Ulrich Museum of Art.
He entered his work in the School of Art and Design’s Crit-O-Rama in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010. He had his first RSC Gallery exhibit in 2006. His work has also been selected as part of group exhibitions.
Finding another voice
Mitchell is a double major at Wichita State in communications/radio broadcast and graphic design/studio art/photography. He served as secretary 2010 for the university’s Photography Guild; in 2011 he became the public relations officer.
He hopes that people who see his work feel the same way he does when he looks at other photographers’ work, and perhaps feel inspired to follow in his and others’ footsteps.
As an autistic child who could not talk, Mitchell attended the Institute of Logopedics to find his speaking voice before entering public education. With photography, he has found another voice.
Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, and 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information, contact the RSC Activities Office at (316) 978-3495 or visit www.wichita.edu/rscgallery.