OC grad and students achieve success with photography

One Odessa College graduate and two OC photography students recently had their photographs accepted for Texas Photographic Society exhibitions.


 OC graduate Dave Thompson had two of his works, “Forgotten” and “Once Proud” accepted for Listening to the Land, a national juried photo competition exploring the evolution of Texas’ rural lands and communities. Listening to the Land will be held in Lubbock from September 8 through November 22 at Studio Gallery at Landmark Arts, Texas Tech University School of Art.


Dave is fond of saying that it took him 40 years to graduate from college. In 1979, he took his first photo course at OC and completed a little more than half of the curriculum before moving away –– to pursue a career in photography! After retiring from Lifetouch, a national photo company specializing in high school graduation pictures, he moved back to Odessa, started taking photography courses again at OC, and finally graduated with an AAS degree in Photography in Spring 2019. To view all of the exhibit selections, go to https://texasphoto.org/contests/ListeningToTheLand/2020/selected/


Odessa College Photography students Kathleen Mahoney and Sonja Hopkins-Garcia also had photographs accepted into #NewVisions2020: A Student Show – another Texas Photographic Society online, open-themed national collegiate student photo competition. Ninety-three students from colleges and universities across the country submitted more than 500 works for this exhibition. Mahoney’s work, “Terlingua Cemetery”, and Garcia’s work, “It’s Only a Dream”, were among 50 images selected by Juror Paul Thulin-Jimenez, Graduate Director and Assistant Professor in the Department of Photography and Film at Virginia Commonwealth University. The photographers were “…to put forward your most experimental and risk-filled images.” To view the complete online gallery, go to https://texasphoto.org/contests/Student/2020/selected/

Kathleen Mahoney, a retired French teacher, took night classes at OC for “…years and years while she taught at Odessa High School,” photography professor Steve Goff said of his student. Once she retired, Mahoney started taking day classes to complete her degree. During the course of her studies, her work has been selected for numerous shows, including Texas

Photographic Society Student Exhibit in Dallas and the High and Dry Exhibit in Lubbock at Texas Tech University’s International Cultural Center. She planned to complete her associate degree in photography this semester, but as a result of COVID-19’s arrival in the Permian Basin, her plan has been delayed temporarily.

Sonia Hopkins-Garcia graduated in December 2019 from Odessa College with her associate degree in art. Although she wasn’t a photography major, she had a definite interest and talent in that field.  While still a student at OC, she approached Goff for advice and feedback on some of her photographic prints. Hopkins-Garcia knew about the 19th Annual High and Dry Exhibit last fall in Lubbock and was considering entering some of her work. Goff said, “Her work did get chosen to be among the approximately 70 images in the exhibit.” Additionally, her photograph titled “Fruit of Color” was chosen as the winner of the People’s Choice Award In the spring 2020 Odessa College Student Art Show, which was held as an online exhibit due to COVID-19 restrictions.