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Jacob Lee Koch ‘16 Shares Talents with SSM Students

Jacob Lee Koch '16 works with a current senior on her digital photography project.
  • Alumni
  • Arts

Jacob Lee Koch '16 recently returned to campus to share his experiences as a photographer and art director, a passion he discovered through his time in the weCreate® Center.

It all started with a video project.

“I was in the video editing class. I was working on a project for a film festival and other various projects. That was the first time I really got to work on a film by myself.”

Jacob Lee Koch ‘16 quickly found his place from there. With Shattuck-St. Mary’s innovative and well-equipped weCreate® Center at his disposal, he made his home within the video editing studio on the second level. And now, after returning to the space since the first time he graduated, he recognizes the value of a creative space like weCreate. 

“I remember when I was here in weCreate,” said Jacob. “I was here a lot just working on projects. It wasn’t until I was out of that space until I realized that this place doesn’t really exist anywhere else.”

After SSM, Jacob immersed himself in his study of art at Columbia University Chicago - a school he knew had to go to after attending various camps and workshops there while in high school. It was here that he found a love for photography.

“I originally went for film and journalism, and then along the way, I got into photography - specifically fashion photography,” explained Jacob. “While there were people doing fashion design here [in weCreate] all the time, I was in my world of video on the second floor, so I didn’t even come down here and really get to see what was going on in the fashion studio. A couple of years later though, I did meet designers and I really just got into that whole world of fashion and clothing.”

As college ended and his career as a photographer and art director really began to take shape, Jacob had the idea and vision for Black Point Studios - a space similar to weCreate. The studio, which aims to be a multi-faceted workspace geared towards the black and brown creative community, is currently being promoted and fundraised through Kickstarter. 

“I thought about what I would want if I was a photographer - new to the city or who had been living in the city. And it just clicked,” stated Jacob. “A space - a multifaceted artist space not just for photographers but for videographers, painters, graphic designers. All creative types. And on top of that, I also thought about what could set me apart from other studios, which led me to the residency programs specifically for black and brown artists. A lot of them are so talented, but they don’t get recognized for that. I feel it is my duty as an artist to give back to the people who helped me become who I am.”

In his visit back to campus, Jacob shared his knowledge and experience with current students through workshops and multiple Deep Dive (and Dessert) presentations in weCreate. 

“As the Director of weCreate, there is nothing more gratifying than hearing alums credit weCreate as a transformational space for creative exploration and discovered passion. Seeing Jacob's stunning photographs and hearing about his vision for Black Point Studios was a blast of inspiration, not only for me, but for our students, faculty, and staff, too,” said Stephanie Vagle, Director of weCreate. 

To learn more about Jacob and his Black Point Studios project, click here


  • weCreate

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