McKee Photography Grant

Past Recipients

The McKee Photography Grant, supported by the McKee Fund for Photography, an endowed fund established in 2003 to augment the photography offerings within the Visual Arts Department at Bowdoin College, is intended to support annually one student photography project during the summer months and a public lecture and exhibition of the project upon completion in the fall. The grant consists of up to $1000 to allay expenses, such as supplies and travel, associated with the project. The funds will not be used to provide a stipend.

Proposed projects must engage with the photographic medium; it is expected that a cohesive body of photographs be developed over the course of the summer. The grant is intended to encourage the student to work independently with advice, even if from afar, from a faculty member to execute a long-term photographic project outside of the context of the classroom.

Only returning students are eligible to apply, and the recipient of the grant is expected to prepare an exhibit of the summer’s work in the Visual Arts Center and give a public presentation about the project, upon return to campus in the fall - as well as turn in a paragraph about the project and web-ready photographs for the visual arts department website.

A committee comprising the current photography faculty and the Visual Arts Department Chair will review the applications. Selection criteria for an award include the proposal’s effective articulation of central questions driving the project, a full consideration of the specific ways the student intends to explore these questions, and the feasibility of completing the proposed project during the summer. Applications should indicate technical proficiency in relevant photographic technologies, and the proposal should indicate how access to any necessary resources or facilities might be obtained. Proposals should be as detailed and specific as possible and emphasize an exploration of stated themes.

Applications are entirely electronic, and should include the following in one email submission:

1. Narrative proposal, no more than 1500 words in length. The proposal should explain:

  • topic or problem to be examined
  • student's background on the proposed project
  • methods to be used
  • identification of a faculty advisor
  • expected outcome by summer’s end
  • proposed budget, as detailed as possible, outlining intended use of funds

2. Link to online portfolio of 20 images (Picasa, Blogspot, Flickr, etc.) to allow the committee to familiarize itself with the student’s previous photographic work

3. PDF copy of the student’s Bowdoin transcript (via Bearings)

Below to be emailed directly from faculty members to Michael Kolster:

4. Recommendation from a faculty member outside the Art Department

5. Faculty advisor: note from faculty member stating a willingness to oversee the project during the summer

NOTE: The McKee Photography Grant will not be awarded for Spring 2014. The next application process will be during the Spring 2015 semester.
Questions concerning the grant can be directed to Michael Kolster (