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Our philosophy is focused on encouraging students to discover and question their own motivations for making photographic art while providing them with the foundation and tools to continue to advance their education after graduation. In so doing, the faculty and staff work to support and inspire the next generation of artists and leaders—ensuring that once they earn their degrees, they enter the world as engaged, independent, self-directed artists, scholars and citizens.

Within our department we promote exploration and push students to work outside their comfort zones, asserting that they “must become comfortable with being uncomfortable.” This basic philosophy empowers students to gain new perspectives and modes of creation through stretching themselves technically and conceptually to further expand and advance their artistic practice and education.

Statement of Solidarity

Dear friends of the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography,

The University of La Verne’s Department of Photography and the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography, stand in solidarity with those protesting for civil rights and social justice reforms for Black Lives Matter. We are outraged as we mourn the senseless murder of George Floyd and the countless other victims to police brutality and systemic racism within our country.

We recognize that there is great work ahead of us all as we rebuild a more equitable and inclusive future. We reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusivity, while committing to know better and do better, to support our diverse community of artists, scholars and advocates.

In solidarity.
– Shannon Benine, Executive Director + the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography staff

Staying connected during COVID-19

Dear friends of the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography,

I hope you and your loved ones are all safe and supported during these unprecedented times. The Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography is proud to be a part of the University of La Verne, which is showing great leadership and support for its students, faculty, staff, alumni and local community during this pandemic.

Although for the foreseeable future the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography is physically closed, we are dedicated to making education, human connections and support our continued focus. It is in our Gallery’s mission that we are “a vital center for civic engagement,” “dedicated to the University of La Verne’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity and community engagement.” We will continue to uphold these values and have created a few new online platforms as a place to connect and create further opportunities with which to build and foster our community.

Our new online presence for the Irene Carlson Gallery is paired with our Instagram @ulvphotography and ulvphotography Facebook page. We will continue to host photography contests, share opportunities and support for artists, ways to support ULV students and our local community members, creative responses that artists are making to the sheltering at home mandate, an archive of the Irene Carlson Gallery content and more.

While all physical exhibitions have been postponed until classes resume on campus, we are still providing live online visiting artists talks and panel discussions that will be archived on our videos section of our website at Follow us and sign up for our mailing list and view our events section to stay up to date on our upcoming visiting artist talks.

I am proud to report that during this challenging time we have continued to pay our student workers, staff and faculty and would be deeply grateful for your support at any level. Your donations have allowed ULV to honor its rich past, foster community and build an artistic future!

Change is the only constant there is and as creatives we thrive in times of uncertainty. I am grateful for our students, faculty, staff, artists and community members for your understanding as we transition to our new online platforms. We are truly all in this together and we are doing our part to continue to create and support our arts community. We look forward to reopening and welcoming you back to the campus and to the gallery again with a reception to celebrate our community and to share our perspectives on the medium of photography.

Shannon Benine, Executive Director + the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography staff

Get Involved


Your gift to the Department of Photography, within the College of Arts & Sciences, helps us to expand our program in order to provide further support to our students and local community. Any amount is welcome so donate now to help shape the future of our Department of Photography at the University of La Verne.

Donate Your Gear

If you are interested in donating your used (and new) working analog and digital cameras, lenses and accessories to support the growth of our Department of Photography, please direct all inquiries to the Photography Chair, Shannon Benine.