Arts & Culture

Ava Fojtik gains national recognition for photo

Jimmy Pfeffer, Photo Editor

The 2017–18 school year was when Ava Fojtik submitted her piece “Illuminated” ​to Augsburg’s literary journal, ​Murphy Square.​ She never expected that she would be getting published in one of the 2019 issues of the national undergraduate art publication, “plain china.”

On Jan. 10, Fojtik received an email from “Murphy Square” editor-in-chief  Gabriel Benson, notifying her that her photo had been selected by “plain china” to be published alongside a piece of writing which the editors of “plain china” will select.

The piece,​ “Illuminated,”​ comes from a larger collection of photographs by Fojtik titled “Pity Party.” In “​Illuminated,” ​the frame captures a pair of jean-covered legs sticking up in the air. The legs are wearing pink Chuck Taylors over a gold string confetti-like background. The legs belong to Augsburg alumnus Adam Ruff, and the collection as a whole shows Ruff at what would appear to be a birthday party, but he is all alone, and rather than having a birthday cake with candles, he has a cheesecake with candles. Another photo in the collection shows Ruff balled up, clenching his legs on the floor with a birthday crown on his head, giving rise to the work’s title.

Fojtik described the shoot as more of a collaboration when asked about the collection as a whole. “I created this environment. And then Adam, because he is a very creative person, did whatever poses that he thought would be engaging and interesting, and I gave him a little bit of direction. I think it is important to recognize that he came up with many of the physical choices himself.”

“Illuminated” is very different from a large amount of Fojtik’s work, which is why she chose it to be the piece she submitted to “Murphy Square.” “I really like doing portrait photography, especially of peoples upper body and faces.” The choice to stray from her normal style didn’t only catch the eyes of the editors at “plain china,” but it also provided a work which Fojtik herself is very proud of. “This is one of very few pictures I am proud of that isn’t that [portrait] because it is just Adam’s legs and feet, and I thought it was very unique.”

Fojtik doesn’t have much information on when the piece will be published other than that it will be in the latter half of 2019. But fans of her work need not fear; it is still available for viewing before then.

Fojtik’s work can be found on her Instagram @avafojtik. Fojtik says that she is in the process of creating a portfolio in the form of a website where fans can see all of her artistic works.

This article was originally published in the Feb. 2, 2019 issue. 

Ava Fojtik’s photo “Illuminated” has been selected to be published by the national undergraduate art publication “plain china.” Photo by Ava Fojtik.