"Despite my ever-growing love for photography, I didn't have the self-assurance to pursue a degree on the subject," said Major, a New Hudson native. "My very first semester I took a photography course open to all majors and it gave me the extra push I needed to seriously delve into the image making process."
While at Grand Valley, Major pursued many experiences that helped her to grow as a photographer. She attended a Southwest Desert Workshop headed by photography professor Anthony Thompson and printmaking professor Dellas Henke. About a dozen photography and art students traveled outside of the classroom to the deserts of New Mexico and Utah to capture nature in a variety of extreme landscapes.
Refreshed by that creative experience, Major enrolled in a printmaking class as well as her photo classes.
"Everything came full circle when I had a professor ask me at the beginning of a semester if I was 'Ready to kick butt,'" said Major. "I couldn't believe this sentiment had come back to me. It was then that I knew I was right where I was meant to be."
Major's other experiences with photography range from a variety of different local and national settings. After graduating from Grand Valley in 2007, Major worked at Proud Galleries in London, where she handled, produced, mounted, and framed more than 100 prints for two gallery exhibitions. Major also served as an administrative volunteer at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and a library attendant volunteer at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
She was then hired as a public relations intern for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. In the future, Major said she would like to remain involved with a museum or art gallery.
"I believe it's the photographer in me that attempts to discover the beauty in places and objects that isn't always apparent to others and to reveal the hidden aesthetics," said Major. "For me, the more character and mystery, the more beautiful."
For more information about Major and her work, visit: www.flickr.com/photos/winniecoop.