Every 50-Miles: A Lesson in Challenges

January 30, 2020 | Betty A. Proctor | Internal Press Release

michael largent

Chattanooga State’s Michael Largent, an associate professor of graphic arts technology, has enjoyed a long and varied career in the creative arts, having worked more than four decades in photography and graphic design, before adding educator to the mix.

Largent’s first love was photography. “I took a photography course just because it sounded interesting. After the first week of classes, I changed my major to photography. I was addicted, especially the darkroom aspect that I considered to be magic!” recalls Largent. His love of and knack for photography has served him well. 

While receiving his bachelor’s degree, Largent was a photographer with the Chattanooga News-Free Press, Chattanooga Times, and WRCB-TV. After graduation, he moved to Atlanta where he held management positions in marketing, advertising, and corporate communications while crafting his career. When he and his family returned to Chattanooga in 2006, Michael took a position as an adjunct instructor in the graphic arts technology program at Chattanooga State. In addition, he has served as an adjunct of photography and graphic design at Covenant College and Southern Adventist University before joining Chattanooga State full-time in 2015.

Largent loves being able to share his corporate and freelance experience with his students. “Having transitioned from traditional pasteup to the digital age provides a valuable teaching lesson on adapting to new technologies and the importance of staying abreast in the industry,” he states. 

His full-time status encouraged him to further his career as an educator and led him back to his roots in photography, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from Azusa Pacific University In 2017. During his trip west, he drove from Ringgold, GA to Los Angeles and created a photo-documentary of his journey. Largent set his GPS to “avoid highways. “I stopped every 50th mile to photograph whatever was interesting (or not) around me at that location. It was fascinating to see and document the scenery as it turned from the green of forests in the east to brown of deserts as I traveled westward,” he commented.

Two years later in 2019, he repeated the project, but this time Michael began his trip in Lansing, MI traveling northwest to Fargo, ND (his last state to visit in the contiguous U.S.), and then back home to Ringgold. “This time, the challenge was to find interesting things to photograph within the 50th mile other than the miles, and miles, and miles of corn and soybean fields,” he chuckled. Both of his “Every 50-Miles” projects can be found on his website: https://mlargent.format.com

In addition to his website, Michael’s artwork has been exhibited locally at the InTown Gallery, AVA, Creative Arts Guild (Dalton), Chattanooga State, Southern Adventist University, and several other venues. He also has exhibited at multiple galleries in California, New York, and Seattle. Coming in April 2020, he will have a solo show at the Creative Arts Guild featuring his photography.

For more information about a career in graphic arts technology or questions about available classes, call (423) 697-4441 or visit chattanoogastate.edu/graphic-arts-technology-concentration.