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An Exhibition by the Spring 2024 Advanced Photography Class


What’s happening under the veil? In today’s society there’s hidden truth present in everything we do. In this exhibition, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s advanced photography class unveils these hidden ugly truths. Through the camera we show what’s really going on.


This exhibition was first shown at SIUE's Noise Box gallery in March 2024. The exhibition corresponded with the Society for Photographic Education's national photography conference in St. Louis and the SPE 2024 Members Exhibition in Art and Design West. 

Anchor 1

Natcha Wongchanglaw

Bio: Natcha Wongchanglaw is a Thailand-born, US-based visual artist who incorporates herself and her experiences to explore the themes of home, culture, community, identity, and the relationship between people and places. Wongchanglaw’s work has been included in national and international exhibitions, including a public art show at The Presidio in San Francisco, LensCulture New York 2022, the RPS International Photography Exhibition 164 in the U.K where she is the IPE award recipient, and the Rockefeller Center’s the Flag Project in New York City. She is also shortlisted for the Portrait of Humanity by the 1854 Media & British Journal of Photography and is included in the Portrait of Humanity Vol 5 book. Her most recent achievement is the Special Encouragement Award from the Nikon Photo Contest 2022-2023. Wongchanglaw earned her master’s degree in digital photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and is set to her MFA in Art Studio at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, focusing on photography and digital media in May 2024.

Website: | Instagram: @nanaka9


Project Statement Rights of Passage:

Freedom isn’t universal. Our treatment is based on nationality, not individuality.

As I've grown older and had the opportunity to travel to different countries, I've realized that the notion that we all enjoy freedom is no longer true. Our identity has come to be determined by our passports because we sometimes are not treated as individuals but as our nation of origin.

Project Statement Diaspora: Global migration, whether driven by choice or external pressures, is a perpetual narrative that captivates me as an artist. Through environmental portraits set against a white backdrop, I symbolize the separation between immigrants and their American home, emphasizing the enduring connection to their heritage. The white backdrop represents the nuanced reality that immigrants may never fully assimilate—a complex facet rather than a deficiency. My project delves into the dualities of belonging and yearning, aiming to provoke contemplation on the concept of home and foster empathy by challenging perceptions.

Anchor 2

Maia Huddleston

Bio:  Maia K Huddleston is a photographer and digital artist from Mattoon, IL. She received a bachelor of science degree in interactive media from Illinois State University and is currently working toward her Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Her fine art serves to increase public access to information and social criticism. Through photography and the moving image, she highlights the personal relationships viewers build with their environments, particularly in places of significant social conflict. By combining imagery with text and interactive media techniques, she helps viewers overcome the cognitive and psychological distance associated with sociopolitical undereducation and common misinformation


Project Statement: The Holy Home is a collection of black and white digital photographs that document the private residences owned by churches for the housing of clergy. Street views and intimate shots of home interiors call attention to the taxation immunity of churches in America and the blurred line between church and state.


Inspired by documentary photographers who create art with moral undertones, this work captures the longstanding relationship between private property and religious institutions, which receive tax breaks because of proclaimed public outreach. The exposure of the parsonage tradition increases social awareness and encourages conversation about the economic power associated with religious tax exemptions.

The exclusionary act of the first amendment guarantees that the United States government pass no law “respecting an establishment of religion.” Despite this initial documentation, several court cases have ruled it constitutional for religious parsonages to remain untaxed. The limits of these tax exemptions currently vary by state. In Illinois, churches are not required to pay property taxes on homes, as long as the occupant lives there as a condition of their occupation. In Missouri, all parsonages are exempt from property tax requirements. Additionally, the church may provide a nontaxable housing allowance for clergy instead of a physical property.

The process of making this work consists of four stages: connection, conversation, capture, and communication. Each photograph is born from an initial connection made between myself and a stranger. Often, this stranger is the priest themself. I reach out to local religious organizations and ask about their parsonages, stressing my interest in the practice. Then, the stranger becomes a friend. I talk at length with each resident about their experiences living in parsonages. I do not use a tape recorder or take notes of any kind. Instead, I dedicate myself to engaging in conversation with the person living in the home. After the conversation, I begin the process of photographing the homes. I’m particularly interested in capturing signs of life or absence of life in the parsonages. These details speak to the inherent human element of the religious tradition. The showing of these works encompasses the communication stage.

By exposing these private spaces, I present the public with an exclusive look into the tax-exempt properties owned by churches. This calls attention to the benefits associated with property ownership by the church, for both clergy, who do not have to report the parsonage as part of their income or assets, and the church itself, who is not required to pay property taxes. When a religious institution acts as a landlord, where does the church end and the home begin?

Anchor 3

Lukas Haag

Bio: Lukas Haag is a versatile multimedia artist based in Edwardsville, Illinois, whose creative journey spans the realms of cinematic filmmaking, commercial video production, and photography. With a diverse background in media production and a keen eye for visual storytelling, he has established himself  within community as a professional, eager to bring your story to life. | Instagram: @Hardlinemediaproduction

Project Statement: In "Sweet Deception" I take issue with the false representation of foods and household items as healthful options in commercial ads. By using AI in post-editing to highlight the fundamental lies promoted by these advertisements, I intend to expose the sharp contrast between the reality of sugar-filled foods and the misleading marketing narratives presented in a series of photos.


Unquestionably, sugary snacks and drinks are a common feature of modern diets, and they are frequently marketed as appealing treats that would satisfy and pleasurably tempt consumers. Nevertheless, beneath the glossy exterior of these commercials comes a more sinister reality. The appeal of health and wellness has become a potent marketing weapon in today's consumer society, and food manufacturers frequently take advantage of this trend to position their high-sugar products as healthy choices. Many seemingly healthful goods, such as yogurt and granola bars, are actually loaded with hidden sugars, which increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other heart related illnesses.

Household products serve principal functions in our daily lives, their indiscriminate use and disposal can have far-reaching consequences for human health and the environment. The widespread use of antimicrobial agents in household products has raised concerns about the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which could undermine efforts to combat infectious diseases in both humans and animals. It is imperative that consumers educate themselves about the potential risks associated with these products and seek out safer alternatives whenever possible. Each photograph was a stark juxtaposition of beauty and toxicity, highlighting the vibrant colors and enticing packaging of the products alongside their ominous counterparts: monstrous creatures symbolizing the hidden hazards within. Through post-editing, the products are seamlessly integrated into a scene of malevolent figures, creating a visual narrative that is both haunting and thought-provoking.

This series is a reminder of the gap between marketing rhetoric and reality by lifting the veil of commercial product photos with their AI-enhanced parallels. The goal is to enable viewers to critically evaluate marketing claims and make more educated decisions by drawing attention to the disparities between perception and reality. Sweet Deception is a challenge to the sugar-laden and chemical filled products masquerading as effective options. Change starts with you.

Anchor 4

maia Moranville

Bio:  Maia Moranville, born in 2002, is from Hillsboro, IL. In the fall of 2024, she will graduate from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and a minor in Art History. Her interest in photography and the arts started when she was younger. It was a way to express herself in a school subject where she felt she could belong and shine. Moranville continued participating in art courses throughout high school and began her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts and a minor in Art History. Her studies at SIUE have allowed her the opportunity to grow and develop her artistic skills across multiple mediums. Moranville's primary medium is photography, but she also enjoys working in metalsmithing and printmaking. The size range of her work varies, but it is usually an 8x11 photograph for digital prints and cyanotype prints. In her time at SIUE, she had work featured in the Annual Student Juried Show and won an award for her cyanotype series called Petals of Society. Moranville's most recent show was the Nosie Box Gallery at Southern Illinois Edwardsville, where part of her Relationships in the 21st Century series was featured in the student gallery. Her work mainly focuses on either Save the Bees or societal standards in America. At the beginning of her career at SIUE, she focused on the theme of Save the Bees, but she is now focused on societal standards in America as her theme throughout the photography she is creating. 


Project Statement:  Dating in the 21st Century is difficult with the hustle and bustle of everyday life; It is hard to create authentic connections with people, and this leads individuals to use technology and dating apps to fill this void. These apps have great intentions for people to find their romantic partner, which in my case worked, but the mental effect and dopamine one gets from swiping and liking people can create unhealthy addiction with these apps. This concept connects to the rest of the series, which covers relationship labels that our society has made to represent people's connections. The labels, independent or codependent, define a relationship's healthiness due to society creating these social constructs that decide how a relationship is perceived. This series aims to show that impact technology has on relationships in the 21st Century. Viewers are asked to consider their perspectives and connections to the photographs and the impact that technology/labels have had on young adult dating today since the twentieth Century.