creative research gallery and drawing center
a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization



Listening and Speaking Photographically

8-Week Course with Resident Instructor Michael Wilson

Saturdays, 1:30-4:30pm
October 7 - December 9, 2023*

*No class meetings on November 4 and November 25

Registration Deadline: October 4, 2023


[ *** REGISTER HERE *** ]

Tuition: $345

Course fee includes black & white chemistry and FREE access to all Open Photography Labs during the duration of the course

Class Size:
Minimum: 4
Maximum: 12


Our world is continually ‘talking’ to us. And we are constantly engaged in ‘conversations’ of many kinds, both internal and external. It can be a lot to process!

In this class, we will work towards increasing awareness of (and clarity in) both what we are paying attention to (listening) and our responses to those things (speaking). We will do so by engaging in various acts of making (a kind of listening) and sharing (a kind of speaking) photographs.

Some weeks, prompts will be provided, while other times will require students to photograph without agenda or expectation—photography as an act of simple ‘listening’.

Photographs made during the week will be shared during our class sessions—employing both the ‘speaking’ and ‘listening’ aspects of picture making. We will look at work by photographers from throughout the history of photography for challenge and inspiration. Readings and guided discussions will be part of the class sessions as well.

Questions asked and exercises given will be aimed at helping us to pay attention to what we are paying attention to. What are we dedicating our senses to—both actively and passively? What are we seeing/looking at? What are we hearing/listening to? What is getting our attention and how do we feel about it?

At the end of the course, students will be asked to complete two separate sets of photographs: one set of photographs curated with a particular person or persons in mind; the photographic equivalent of a private conversation. The second set of photographs will be a selection of pictures intended for unknown persons; the photographic equivalent of an individual’s contribution to a public discourse.


Level of Study: This class is suggested for individuals with some photographic experience. Basic knowledge of film processing and photo printing is expected if working with film.


Materials List:

If working with film:

  • Film Camera*
  • Tripod (optional)
  • 8-12 Rolls B/W Film of Choice (recommend that at least half of film be 400 ISO)
  • Negative Pages for Sleeving Film
  • RC - Multigrade Black and White Paper, 8”x10”/ 25 Sheets (minimum)

* There are a limited amount of film cameras available to borrow for the duration of the course.

If working digitally:

  • Digital Camera
  • Tripod (optional)
  • Thumb Drive (for transfer of images to class computer) *

* Because the Drawing Center’s Photography Area has only one communal computer, students working digitally will need to be able to edit/process their images on their own computer.



Please contact Manifest Drawing Center Studio Program Manager, Adam Mysock at with any questions about the material list.

LOCATION: Unless otherwise specified, all courses are hosted at Manifest's new facility at 'M1' in Clifton at 3464 Central Parkway (see map and directions below). Manifest's new facility provides multiple studio classrooms, private lesson space, a darkroom, a film processing room, and a multi-purpose lecture and class meeting space as well as on-site parking, grounds, and exterior spaces in which to relax, discuss, and make art. The studios are outfitted with professional equipment, furniture, and study aids.


Map to Manifest's M1 Studios   |   Studio Calendar   |   Darkroom Calendar

Michael Wilson


Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson





About the instructor:

Michael Wilson is a life-long resident of Cincinnati residing in Price Hill. He developed his interest in photography while attending Northern Kentucky University where he earned a bachelor of fine arts in 1981. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions at such local venues as Baker Hunt Foundation (Covington, Ky.); Thomas More Gallery, Thomas More College (Crestview Hills, Ky.); In Situ Gallery (Cincinnati, Ohio); Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center (Covington, Ky.); as well as the Cincinnati Art Museum and Contemporary Arts Center. Wilson's photographs have been exhibited regionally at the J. B. Speed Museum (Louisville, Ky.); Rosewood Arts Centre (Kettering, Ohio); and Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art (Cleveland, Ohio). His work is represented in the Cincinnati corporate collections of E. W. Scripps; PNC Bank; Frost & Jacobs; Deloitte & Touche; and Duke Energy. He is also represented in the collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum and the J. B. Speed Museum. In addition, his images have been featured in more than three hundred photographic projects working with musicians and record labels.

Among the many artists Michael has photographed are: Lyle Lovett, B. B. King, Waylon Jennings, Randy Newman, Emmylou Harris, Bill Frisell, David Byrne, Philip Glass, Dawn Upshaw, and Doc Watson. Clients include: Nonesuch Records, Warner Brothers Records, Sony Music, Capitol Records, Alfred A. Knopf, Penguin Putnam, Mother Jones Magazine, Health Magazine, Uncut Magazine, and Pentagram Design.

Michael also moderates Manifest Drawing Center’s Open Photography Lab once a week. He is the Joseph A. Stoner Resident Instructor of Photography at Manifest.

 Josephine S. Russell
Charitable Trust

Manifest is supported by sustainability funding from the Ohio Arts Council, and through the generous direct contributions of individual supporters and private foundations who care deeply about Manifest's mission for the visual arts.

gallery hours:

tues-fri 12-7pm, sat noon-5pm
closed on sun-mon

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gallery map
2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

drawing center map (m1)
3464 Central Parkway
cincinnati, ohio 45223



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