Abington photography professor’s work graces collections, exhibits worldwide

Penn State News reported that Walter Plotnick, a digital photography instructor in the art program at Penn State Abington, recently appeared in the prestigious Italian magazine Gente di Fotografia, issue No. 78. The feature included a six-page spread of his assemblages, or visual narratives.

Private collections worldwide feature work by Plotnick, and his photo-based art has been the focus of national and international solo exhibitions and media coverage.

His current work is a hybrid of wet photography and digital process, and his major series have included the 1939 World’s Fair, abstract photograms, and 1930s circus performers. 

“I’m most influenced by Modernist, Constructivist, and Bauhaus artists. Man Ray is also a huge inspiration, as well as certain American artists like Joseph Cornell, who created shadowboxes and was self-taught,” Plotnick said. 

Through Jan. 15, 2023, Plotnick’s photography is included in the annual juried exhibition Art of the State at The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. He is also preparing for a 2024 solo exhibition in Belgium. 

The roots of Plotnick’s practice date to the age of 13 when his father, an amateur photographer, set up a makeshift darkroom in the family’s basement. 

“I would shoot and process the film, and I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember,” he said. 

Plotnick’s “Tar Beach” from Surprise Inside Series

After completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in fine arts locally, he worked for two decades as a commercial photographer out of studios in downtown Philadelphia and in South Philadelphia, shooting for fashion, food, and other clients. 

“After many years, I decided to go back and make art and do what I love about photography. Around that time, in 2005, I came to Abington. I sell my art internationally, and I’ve had nice success,” he said.  

For more on Plotnick’s life and career, you can visit Penn State News’ article here.