Film Studies & Photography Programs 2.0

Marvelwood is thrilled to announce that Jamie Kay is joining the faculty to teach film and photography. Mr. Kay has a strong background in electronic media arts, computer software, and programming.   Ben Willis, who has headed up our film and photography programs for four years, will now be focusing his energies on our award-winning Documentary Film program, while Jamie will be bringing his unique experience to our amazing film, virtual reality, and photography classes.

Jamie holds a Master of Fine Arts from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts (2018) with a focus on lens-based media. As a graduate student at Tufts, he taught Undergraduate Video, and served as a post-grad Teaching Fellow (2019). Drawing upon contemporary education theory, Jamie’s master’s thesis explored the influential role that art and technology play in shaping our perspective of the world around us. His fascination with the impact of photography, video, and other lens-based media upon us can be traced back to his specialization in Electronic Media, Arts and Communication at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree (2005).

Jamie’s documentaries and other visual work have been screened and shown at the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. He has been a presenter at the Emerson symposium on media. As a co-founder of the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY, a community media center, Jamie served for ten years as Art Director, and also as a teacher, at the Sanctuary.

Guided by his belief that teaching is the most important art form out there, Jamie’s teaching philosophy starts with meeting the students where they’re at and building forward. His goal is to empower the students and enable them to take authorship over their lives as active participants in their communities and to be equipped with valuable relevant skills for tomorrow’s financial and social economy. Jamie believes that student learning is activated and empowered by self- esteem, autonomous decision-making and choice, individuated learning, and by engagement and joy in one’s work. When these ingredients are present in the classroom, he believes that the most rigorous material is achievable for every student.  We look forward to have him joining our team at Marvelwood. 

Ben has been working with students in our Summer Sessions classes and with interns in the Summer Video Exploration Program to make new films and finish movies started during the school year: “We’re planning to host a virtual Film Festival to highlight the work our students have done over the summer,” says Ben, “and to show just how much we can accomplish through remote learning and socially distanced in-person activities like the Summer Internship Program.” The Video Exploration Program is commissioned to produce documentary films for the Upper Housatonic Valley Natual Heritage Area, which is part of the National Parks Service. 

Learn more and view films on our website