Robert Andy Coombs

Born 1987, Norway Michigan, lives and works in Grand Rapids Michigan

 

Education

Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Major Photography, Minor Graphic Design,

Graduated May 2013

 

Work History

Fashion Lead for The DisArt Festival, Grand Rapids Michigan,August 2014 - 2016

Created and produced a fashion shows featuring accessible clothing created for/by people with disabilities

Cast disabled models for runway show

Styled models for show

Maintained relationships with designers

 

Official Photographer for The DisArt Festival, Grand Rapids Michigan, August 2014 - Current

Photographed behind the scenes/creation of the US's largest disabled artists Festival

In charge of photography intern/volunteers

Keeping a consistent chronological visual storyline

 

 

Freelance/Personal Work

Secret Society of Disabled People

    Created a series of photographs featuring amazing people with disabilities within the community 

    Featured in the DisArt Festival, the largest disabled artists Festival in the US

 

LadyBoy

    Explores gender identity/gender roles in a exciting and colorful way.

 

Huffington Post blog

    Wrote a series of three blog posts on being disabled and disabilities and sexuality.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-andy-coombs/

 

Disabilities and Sexuality

    A photographic series showcasing men of various disabilities and their sexuality despite being disabled

    Selected in the top 25 of the juried selection in art prize 2013 in a category of two-dimensional art

 

Stevens Advertising Grand Rapids, May 2012, October 2012

    Photographed various products for Crystal Mountain resort and spa monthly publication Mountain Life

 

Life in Action magazine, February/March 2012

    Photographed magazine cover image

 

 

Exhibitions

2015 

    LadyBoy: Solo Show at The Out Center, Benton Harbor Michigan

    DisArt Festival Fashion Show, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Rapids         Michigan

    Art of the Lived Experiment: 50 Monroe/DisArt Hub, Grand Rapids Michigan

    Juror: Legacy Trust Award Collection, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Michigan

2013

    Nobody's Perfect Panel Discussion: Bodies of Work Festival, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts     at the University of Chicago, Chicago Illinois

    The Time We Cannot Meet: Detroit Print Exchange, 4731 Gallery, Detroit Michigan

    LadyBoy: Hard Femme, Con Artist Crew Gallery, Grand Rapids Michigan

    LadyBoy: ArtPrize 2013, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids Michigan

2012

     Disabilities and Sexuality: ArtPrize 2012, Fountain Street Church, Grand Rapids Michigan

 

 

Awards

2013 

    Photographers Forum Finalist for Best of College

     Photography Studio Excellence Award Kendall College of Art and Design

2012 

    Mac On Campus Featured Student

    Western Michigan ChapterAmerican Civil Liberties Union, Fountain Street Church Social             Action Award

    ArtPrize Juried Selection Top 25 in Category of Two-Dimensional Artwork

2006

    Kendall College of Art and Design Scholarship

 

Philanthropy

 

Bodies of Work, University of Chicago, 2013

    Chosen to be on a discussion panel for the documentary "Nobody's Perfect"

 

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, May 2012 – current

    Motivate and reassure newly injured spinal cord patients about their new lives

 

Grand Valley State University Meijer Honors College October 2012

    Guest speaker - spoke to a combined class of 34 freshmen honors students about being a disabled         artists and the importance of photography and art in politics.

 

Grand Valley State University Occupational Therapy program July 2012

    Guest speaker - helped educate students on what it is like for me to live my daily life                 (dictating my care, going to school, sexuality, daily routine, photography process, etc.)

 

Norway High School January 2010 - May 2010

    Volunteered my time to help teach high school students, in NHS' multimedia classes, different graphic design skills, photography skills, and video skills.

 

Skills

Proficient in strobe/continuous lighting (Profoto lighting equipment)
Proficient in Digital and Traditional Photography equipment (Mamiya, Canon, Nikon)

Great understanding of tethered shooting and studio equipment

Well-versed in product photography as well as editorial and photographing models/people

Adobe Creative Suite along with Capture One software

Very experienced in public speaking

Addressing clients, assistants, and models in a relatable and understanding manner

Able to dictate necessary creative ideas and suggestions

Scheduling photo shoots and other various business arrangements

Ability to learn new technology quickly and efficiently

Creative problem solving and troubleshooting skills.

Great independent/group work ethic