Photo by InSoo Lee
By Charles Pappas
Stirling’s on a Saturday evening is usually vacant. Most students make their way to the coffee house during the morning or afternoon hours to grab a late breakfast or to study before partaking in tour de frat later that night. However, on Saturday September 12, there was a rather large crowd in Stirling’s. This crowd was different than the usual plethora of students. There were administrators such as Dean Hartman, faculty like Professor Moser, and community members such as the Alvarez tribe. There were children of professors and students from St. Andrew’s. Only one person could bring all of these amazing members that make up the Sewanee community together, and it is Isabel Butler. Isabel Butler is a senior at St. Andrew’s and a very talented photographer. Her current work includes an amazing series of black and white photographs of different members of the Sewanee community. She says, “I chose people I was close to or people I knew. Some of them are my closest friends, and some of them are people that my parents knew and kind of lead me to them and set me up to take photos with them.” While some people are naturals in front of the camera, Butler’s photos show her talent behind the camera. She is able to capture the unique essence of each of her subjects perfectly. Whether the subject is Tess Steele (C’18) and her infamous bike, Joey Moordian (C’15) and his guitar, or Bea Troxel (C’15) gazing beautifully into the camera like the Audrey Hepburn of her generation, Butler shows each man, woman, or child in their element. When asked which photo was the most entertaining to take, Butler responded “I think either Gerard or Harry, because everyone knows Harry. He’s just an interesting person … the end product was really good. Gerard is just very photogenic and a very animated person.”
Butler’s technique is attributed to what she has been taught by her photography professor and Sewanee graduate, Rachel Malde, “It was used to capture more of the people’s feelings and more of the people than the color… I kind of fell in love with it… You can see the emotion more.” Katherine Evans, the familiar warm face at Stirling’s, talked about Isabel’s work and the future exhibits that Stirling’s will showcase later this year. Evans has watched Isabel grow up in Sewanee and was very impressed with her work and personality. She talked about how the concept of the photographs was very similar to that of the world renowned Humans of New York series. The next exhibition to be shown will be a photography collection from Pradip Malde’s current FYP photography class, and following that will be a collection from Camp Discover in Tracy City.