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Those who have any worries about photography’s future can take some comfort in the work of graduating BFA students at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. The sprawling thesis exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art includes three fine photojournalism efforts—-Hanalyn Beard’s winning series on a 12-year-old girl at a D.C. public charter school, Christopher Cunningham’s street photography in Petworth, and Atalie Day Justice-Brown’s warm portrait of an family in Appalachia (top). Two other students offer intensely personal series—-Christopher Jones ’ return to pivotal locations of his childhood after learning a wrenching truth about his family, and Tim Anderson’s series documenting sites of unrelated homicides that occurred during his adolescence—-both of which exude a quiet, brooding power. Meanwhile, two other photographers succeed with atmospherically moody landscapes—-Matthew Borowick’s nighttime seascapes and architectural portraits (below), and Casey Goldman’s hazy, dreamlike meditations that are mounted delicately upright on the floor. Perhaps cleverest of all is Sierra Suris’ project to photograph people who placed “missed connections” notices on Craigslist at the location of their missed connection—-an idea that is at once informal and poignant. Among the non-photographic work, two inspired floor sculptures deserve mention—-Francesca Holmwood’s lighthearted effort to turn old books and magazines into cylindrical shapes that suggest flower petals, and the sandboxes created by James John Tsikerdanos II that are littered with toy soldiers and spent shell casings, a surprisingly convincing depiction of a desert battlefield that’s all too real these days. The works by Holmwood and Tsikerdanos are so satisfying that it makes you wonder why no one has done it before.
The exhibition is on view 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday) to May 22 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. (202) 639-1700.