Ken Buckner Exhibit Opens Jan. 24

Ken Buckner Exhibition Opening Reception January 24 at SMC’s Emeritus Art Gallery

“A Lens to Life” Exhibit runs January 24-March 6

Photograph of Edward G. Robinson will be shown in “A Lens to Life” – a collection of works by photographer Ken Buckner – on exhibit at SMC's Emeritus Art Gallery from January 24 to March 6. Exhibit opening reception on January 24, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

Photograph of Renaissance Faire by Ken Buckner, on exhibit at SMC's Emeritus Art Gallery January 24 to March 6.

Photograph of Henry Fonda by Ken Buckner, on exhibit at SMC's Emeritus Art Gallery from January 24 to March 6.

January 10, 2019

SANTA MONICA, CA — The Santa Monica College Emeritus Art Gallery will present “A Lens to Life,” a solo exhibition of photographic works by artist, Vietnam veteran, and SMC Emeritus photography instructor Ken Buckner.

The exhibition is open to the public from Thursday, January 24, to Wednesday, March 6, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 24. The exhibition and opening reception are free.

The SMC Emeritus Art Gallery is located on the first floor of the SMC Emeritus Campus, 1227 Second St., in downtown Santa Monica. Parking is available next door in Santa Monica Public Parking Structure No. 2.

Buckner is a disabled Vietnam veteran with a 30-year career in Hollywood photographing the models, fashions, and movie stars from the 1960s to the 1990s. He was invited to hold his first solo exhibit on the day he graduated from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara in 1971.

After moving to Los Angeles, one of his first subjects was Edward G. Robinson, who selected the portrait for the cover of his autobiography. Buckner describes Robinson as “a very gentle man who has the unique ability to ‘look right through you,’ and I was very lucky to capture that part of his personality.”

Buckner took a job as the cast photographer on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” then went on to author one of the top-selling photography books, Available Light Photography. He later worked as a photographer for the catalogs and ads of exclusive department stores. After developing a reputation for superior headshots and glamour portraits, Buckner opened a small studio in Beverly Hills, which he operated until he returned to school to become a teacher.

During his professional career, Buckner worked with top fashion designers that included Givenchy and Ralph Lauren, top models Cheryl Tiegs, Christina Ferrare, Rene Russo, Maud Adams, and Jerry Hall, and movie stars George Burns, Henry Fonda, and Gene Hackman. Buckner’s work also appeared in many of the top fashion and glamour magazines.

In 1998, Buckner was hired to teach in SMC’s Emeritus program by founder and now-retired Associate Dean Maggie Hall, who guided the program for 35 years. “Teaching photography classes at Emeritus is more fun than you can imagine. My students constantly amaze me and make me a better photographer. Many times, even with all my experience and training, they see things and shoot things that truly impress me. Keeps me humble, and their enthusiasm keeps me alive,” said Buckner.

“I enjoy capturing someone in such a way that both the subject and the viewer are surprised. Photographing people has always been my greatest love. My portrait of ‘Maggie’ was one of my best efforts. It was my ‘Thank You’ to her for hiring me, and the most delightful part was how thrilled she and everyone else was with the end result. I loved that.”

SMC Emeritus Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, please call 310-434-4306.

SMC’s widely praised Emeritus program – founded by Santa Monica College in 1975 as a noncredit program to serve the lifelong learning interests of older adults – offers more than 120 noncredit adult education classes and special programs that serve more than 3,000 students each year. For more information, visit the Emeritus website.

If you need an accommodation due to a disability to participate in this event, please contact Stephanie Schlatter at schlatter_stephanie@smc.edu or 310-434-4313, at least 5 business days in advance.

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