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October 3, 2008

Kauffman’s “Waterline” photo exhibit to return to New Orleans Oct. 26-30

Dr. Bette J. Kauffman, associate professor of mass communication at ULM, continues to enjoy success with her interactive photo installation "Waterline,” which will return to New Orleans for exhibit Oct. 26-30 at the Starbucks 2008 Leadership Conference at the Morial Convention Center.

Ten thousand Starbucks employees from around the world are expected to attend the conference. Kauffman's participation in this event is at the invitation of the Crescent City Art Project, one of five non-profit organizations that have been invited to participate in a day of volunteerism, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Through the Crescent City Art Project, Starbucks employees will create art for the public schools of New Orleans. Kauffman's Waterline will be one of several exhibits presented to help Starbucks employees understand the devastation New Orleans experienced from Hurricane Katrina and the post-Katrina flood. Kauffman will be on hand Oct. 29 to interact with Starbucks employees about the exhibit.

More information about the conference and the Crescent City Art Project's participation in it is available at:
and at

More about “Waterline”:
Waterline, the photo installation, consists of 8 x 12 photographs mounted on white foam core and installed edge-to-edge with only the waterline in each photograph aligned. The photographs for each installation are selected from approximately 575 exposures made during five trips to New Orleans from April 1 – June 10, 2006.

Kauffman described her work: “The intent of the installation is to recreate to the extent possible the ubiquitous, equalizing and emotional power and effect of the actual flood line in the city of New Orleans.”

The current version of Waterline in the Coolspace Gallery consists of just over 118 linear feet extending from door frame to door frame around the four walls of the exhibition space.

Waterline is an interactive exhibit. Marking pens are available for visitors to record responses to the photos on the foam core above and below the photographs. Many have responded with expressions of passion, anger, hope and faith.

It was originally installed in the St. Matthias Chapel of Grace Episcopal Church on Canal St. in New Orleans from August 29, 2007 through the end of the year, and for a two-week period in December 2006 as a part of Art with a View in Premiere Tower on North 18th Street in Monroe.

More about the photographer:
Kauffman received her bachelor’s degree in journalism (‘80) from the University of Iowa and her master’s degree (‘82) and Ph.D. (‘92) in communications from the University of Pennsylvania.

She has professional experience in still photography, videography, journalism, and public relations. She has exhibited photographs in The Bowl Room Gallery of the Iowa Memorial Union and in the School of Journalism at the University of Iowa, and has won awards in underwater photography competitions.

Her honors thesis used photography to study cross-cultural uses of public space, her master’s thesis studied children’s ability to interpret and analyze news and advertising photographs, and her doctoral dissertation was an ethnographic study of women artists.

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