Art professor receives international recognition for ‘Controlled Burn’

Left: Professor Joan K. Sharma in front of an abstract painting. Right: image "Controlled Burn - Yosemite" shows a forest fire on the Yosemite Valley floor below Half Dome.

“As I photographed the billowing smoke from the prescribed burn with Half Dome in the distance, I knew that it was an iconic image,” said Joan K. Sharma, professor of art. “It represents our changing relationship with our environment and efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, an urgent topic.”

Controlled Burn - Yosemite - depicts a prescribed burn below Half Dome on the Yosemite Valley floor below Half Dome.
“Controlled Burn – Yosemite” by Joan K. Sharma

Joan K. Sharma, professor of art, received an honorable mention in the 2021 International Photography Awards (IPA) for her photo “Controlled Burn – Yosemite.” 

“I feel honored to receive an award from IPA and grateful for international validation from an international jury of renowned photography experts who judged 14,000 entries from 120 countries,” said Sharma.​​

The image, taken on May 24, 2021, depicts a prescribed burn below Half Dome on the Yosemite Valley floor. The photo was recently part of the “Controlled Burn: The Wonder and the Worry,” an exhibit featuring Sharma’s works at the Spectrum Art Gallery. 

Sharma has previously received IPA awards in 2019 for “Boatman on Ganga” taken in Bhagalpur Bihar State, India and in 2016 for “Hindu Priest, Mahbubani” taken in Bihar State, India. Additionally, she received recognition from Smithsonian Magazine in 2018 for her image “Young Monk with Toy Car,” taken in Punakha Dzong, Bhutan.

Images “Boatman on Ganga,” “Young Monk with Toy Car” and “Hindu Priest, Mahbubani”
Images “Boatman on Ganga,” “Young Monk with Toy Car” and “Hindu Priest, Mahbubani”

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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