Student Spotlight: Jacqueline Leigh Silberbush

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The Student Spotlight series aims to highlight the work of current MFA students, asking them to share thoughts on their practice by answering curated and peer-submitted questions. Jacqueline Leigh Silberbush is a second-year student in the Visual Arts Program.

What themes or subjects are you currently addressing in your work?

For me photography is all about observing. Often I don’t think about what I’m shooting when I shoot – I just do it. Editing is where the ideas start to form. I’m working on trying to create a story about time and place in this country, trying to mix private struggles with public struggles and explore how they relate to each other.

What materials do you work with?

I work with both a digital camera and a film camera. I also work with diary entries that I’ve writing for as long as I’ve been literate. These all give me clues to the person I am and have always been.

What is challenging your practice right now?

Working with my archive versus producing new work. I don’t feel ready to let go of older work and am trying to make something concrete with it. As a photographer editing is a different kind of art: even if I took a photo five years ago, I may stumble upon it because it was originally overlooked, and that is considered “new work" to me. I’m trying to do a little bit of both.

What artist or work of art do you find yourself returning to and why?

Since I was 19, I’ve been obsessed with Eugene Richard’s Dorchester Days. I look at that book every time I feel stuck, and every time I look I am still invigorated by it.

Your peers ask: Who is your favorite rapper?

Unfortunately I’m kind of basic when it comes to music – my music taste is not what I’m most proud of. I’ll say J. Dilla...he’s cool right?  

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.