Michael Becotte Essay

            The never ending passion and commitment and improve in his field has always been the main focal point in his career. He used it as a medium towards his success both in the realm of photography, the visual arts and teaching. As he continues to inspire individuals to follow their dreams and aspirations, the importance of hard work and dedication remains to be the focal point of his profession. In the end, Michael Becotte’s contribution to his field remains to be both an inspiring model of success and the epitome of an undying zeal to impart these tenets to his students.

            His humble beginnings began at Niagara Falls in New York. Looking back, Michael Becotte was born on March 4, 1945. At an early age his passion for photography and visual arts can clearly be seen. That was why in his pursuit for education, he focused and maintained the same determination for the field. Looking at his educational degree, Becotte has exposed himself to intensifying his skills and expertise in the field by undergoing various training and immersion. In detail, in 1963-64 he completed his Photographic Studies at Sam Houston State College. He was part of the Rochester Institute of Technology and Photographic Illustration as a student from 1964-68. After this, he was under a private workshop of renowned artist Nathan Lyons from 1966-67. Lastly in 1970-72, he was under the SUNY program at Buffalo Photographic Studies at Visual Studies Workshop MFA. Due to all of these engagements, he had a firm foundation towards practice and teaching in various educational institutions.

            After his studies, Becotte occupied himself into showcasing his talent through one-man and group exhibitions. These displays showcased numerous genres and scope as he captivated numerous audiences with his work. In his one-man displays the following were showcased: (1) Center of the Eye – 1971, (2) “A Diagonal Slice” – 1972, (3) Rochester Institute of Technology – 1973, (4) “Road Shots” – 1974, (4) University of Rochester – 1975, (5) Rhode Island of School Design – 1976, (6) University of California at Fullerton – 1977, (6) Blue Sky Gallery – 1978, and (7) Sequencia Gallery – 1980.

            On the other hand, his group exhibitions include: (1) Riverside Studio – 1967, (2) Vision and Expression – 1969, (3) Contemporary Photographers, 100 Man Show-Photographs for Sale – 1970, (4) Photography Invitational, Print Show and Sale Visual – 1971, (5) GLI Americani and Four Photographic Centers -1972, (6) Light and Substance, The Dog Show, and Celebrations – 1973, (7) Variety Show II, Visual Interface and Photography Unlimited Fogg Art Museum – 1974, (8) Harrisburg Arts Festival, Repeated Images, Contemporary Photographers Traveling Exhibition – 1975, (9) Innovators and Inventors in Color Photography, American Language Photography and Peculiar to Photography Art Museum – 1976, (10) Fresh from Philadelphia, Locations in time, The Great West Exhibition “Real Deal”, Art Alliance Philadelphia Photographers, Some Twenty Odd Visions, On the Offset Press, Photographs from the Polaroid Collection, Extended Frame Exhibition, Invitational Exhibition – 1977, (11) Visual Studies Workshop Bookshow, Two-Man Show – Bard Color Series, The Art of Offset Printing, The International Self Portrait Invitational “Selected for Traveling Exhibition” – 1978, (12) Mail Art Etc., Photo Works 79, and U.S. Eye Exhibition – 1979, (13) Contemporary Photographers, Pennsylvania Photographers Governors Mansion, The Jeffrey Fuller Fine Art Group Exhibition – 1980.

            To guide individuals and students who also wish to craft their skills in the visual arts and photography, Becotte also administered lectures and workshops. He facilitated these from 1972 until 1980 which includes: (1) Workshop in Photography – Penland School Crafts 1973/72, (2) Juror – Camera Club 1977, (3) Workshop in Offset Lithography – Visual Studies Workshop 1977, and (4) “Color Photography” – Abington Art Center 1980. Moreover, his publications provided better avenues for students to learn and acquire the necessary skills. Examples of these include (1) The Great West Real/Ideal – 1977, (2) “Some Twenty Odd Visions” – 1978, (3) Quiver # 4 – Ten Years of Color and Mail Art Etc. – 1979, and (4) Modern Photography – 1980.

            In addition to workshops, training and publications, Michael Becotte also got involved in the academe and University work as he tried to provide students insights on issues related to his field. Looking at his teaching experience, he was a teaching assistant on (SUNY) – Buffalo at Visual Studies Workshop in 1971/72. Afterwards, in 1973 he held positions as Instructor of Photography at University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition, he was a co-editor with William Larson in Quiver; a photographic periodical publication from 1977 – 1979. From 1973 until today, he is an Associate Professor of Art in Photography at Temple University, Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.

            Due to his contributions, Michael Becotte has been recognized by both the academic community and American society for his efforts to improve the field of photography. This was proven by the numerous grants and fellowships given to him for his contributions. These include (1) Individual Photograph Fellowship (NEA) – 1975, (2) Materials and Purchase Grant – 1973/75, (3) Grant-In-Aid of Research; Temple University – 1976 & 78, (4) Summer Research Fellowship; Temple University, and NEA Publication Grant – 1979, (5) NEA Publications Grant – 1980, (6) Individual Photographer Fellowship – 1980/81.

            To conclude, Michael Becotte contributions in the field of photography is considered to be one of the stalwarts in the study of the subject in the 20th century. The hard work and passion for his practice has resulted to numerous awards and distinctions in his name. In the end, his dedication to provide the same avenues for students has been his main motivation to continue teaching up to this very day.

Work Cited

Art Knowledge News. James A. Michener Art Museum Shows Michael Becotte. 2007 accessed

30 September 2008 from <http://www.artknowledgenews.org/Michael_Becotte.html>

The James A. Michener Art Museum. Constructions: Photographs by Michael Becotte. 2007

accessed 30 September 2008 from

<http://www.michenermuseum.org/exhibits/becotte.php>

The James A. Michener Art Museum. Press Room. 2006 accessed 30 September 2008 from

<http://www.michenermuseum.org/press/?item=2006-09-20>