Jason Reblando is an artist and photographer based in Normal, Illinois. He received his MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, and a BA in Sociology from Boston College. He is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines, two Artist Fellowship Awards from the Illinois Arts Council, and a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Jason's work focuses on labor, migration, and the socioeconomic forces that shape communities. His projects have been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, Politico, Camera Austria, PDNedu, Slate, Bloomberg Businessweek, Marketplace, MAS Context, Real Simple, Places Journal, Chicago Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune. His photographs are collected in the Library of Congress, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Pennsylvania State University Special Collections, the Midwest Photographers Project of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His monograph New Deal Utopias was published in 2017 by Kehrer Verlag. He is an Assistant Professor of Photography in the Wonsook Kim School of Art at Illinois State University.
SPE has been an invaluable professional and personal resource for me as a graduate student, as an adjunct professor, and now a tenure-track professor. I've greatly benefited from every SPE event I've had the opportunity to attend since 2008, including co-chairing two successful chapter conferences for the Midwest region. I would be honored to give back to the creative community of SPE as a member of the Board of Directors.
If elected to the SPE Board, I would like to focus on two areas: first, contributing to the planning and implementation of programming such as conferences, lectures, and exhibitions, and second, developing our membership nationally and internationally. I've found it extremely rewarding to develop conference themes, and work on various aspects of event planning, including logistics, communications, and awards and recognition. I was appreciative to be at the forefront of planning an online conference due to covid, and happy to be able to contribute to a sense community amidst the isolation and distress of the pandemic. I was inspired by the depth and breadth of every region's conference, and would love to contribute to the planning of future innovative virtual and in-person programming on the national level.
I would like to develop membership and outreach efforts to photography departments at community colleges, as more families turn to community colleges for their educational needs in the changing academic landscape. Doing so would not only expose photo students to SPE opportunities early in their photo education, but it would also strengthen bridges and bolster enrollment to photography programs at nearby four-year institutions to where community college students may transfer. Looking outwards on the international level, I would be excited to share my experiences as a Fulbright fellowship recipient and Fulbright Program Advisor with the Board, and intend to explore how SPE can create connections with cultural and higher education systems of other countries. Focusing on membership at the local community college level as well as globally would enhance SPE's efforts toward increasing inclusivity and representing a wide range of life experiences.