Special Events at The Lyric

Issues in Contemporary Photography Panel Discussion - CTAC

Issues in Contemporary Photography Panel Discussion - CTAC

Wednesday, August 23 | 6:00 p.m.

The Harbor Springs Lyric Theatre is thrilled to partner with Crooked Tree Arts Center to bring you insights and debate from commercial photographer, Jenny Risher, artist, Dr. Elizabeth Fergus-Jean, Professor Emeritus, John Fergus-Jean and photography collector and gallery owner, Jay Crouse. Tickets are $10 and available on the CTAC website or at the door the day of the event.

Buy Tickets via Crooked Tree's Website Here



Jay was born into a photography family. Jay’s Dad, Jack, was an avid photographer, complete with a darkroom in their home. Along with catching the picture-taking passion from his Dad, Jay’s interest continued to be fueled by the pictorial magazines, Life, Look and National Geographic.

While earning his MBA at George Washington University in Washington,D.C., Jay popped into a gallery which exhibited and sold fine art photography. He was spellbound by the beauty and complexity of these mostly black and white images.

After graduate school, Jay spent a year studying the art of photography at the Maine Photographic Workshop to learn the intricacies of the medium. In 1976, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia to open the first fine art photography gallery in the southeast. From 1976 to 1984, the Atlanta Gallery of Photography exhibited and sold photographs by the grand masters of the 20th century. It was a golden age, as fine art photography emerged as a much sought after art form for collectors, as well as, investors. Many of the artists, considered the masters of photography, were present at Jay’s gallery for openings of exhibits. Some of these artists included not only Ansel Adams, but also Richard Avedon, Andre Kertesz, Yousef Karsh and Harry Callahan.

Jay and his wife, Laura, continue to collect photographs and have passed on their interest in the art form to their four adult sons.


Elizabeth Fergus-Jean, MFA, Ph.D., is a nationally recognized interdisciplinary artist, author and lecturer on visual thinking, creativity and archetypes in media. She received her Ph.D. in the Mythological Studies Program at Pacifica and her M.F.A. from the University of Washington. Her artwork is widely exhibited and is held in numerous public and private collections. It has also appeared on the covers of several international myth and depth psychology journals and books, including all eight issues of Mythosphere. Her recent publications include Illuminating Letters: Paintings and Essays on the Kabbalah (Art & Psyche), and several articles on image and psyche. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Elizabeth has been a community arts advocate for over 35 years focusing on the expanding role of the arts in education, serving as the Chair for grants, artist-in-schools, and technology integration committees. She is a passionate educator, currently teaching in the graduate Humanities program at Pacifica Graduate Institute, and she also works as a creativity consultant helping individuals fine their authentic creative voice.


John Fergus-JeanJohn Fergus-Jean, an Emeritus Professor at Columbus College of Art and Design, was formerly Curator of Photography at the Columbus Museum of Art, and Director of the Ross Photography Study Center there.

He has taught a wide range of both technical and theoretical photography courses including: Photographic Thought, Digital Imaging, History and Aesthetics of Photography, Issues in Contemporary Photography, and Graduate Art Theory and Criticism.

Fergus-Jean has received state and national grants for his work and his photographs and writings on photography have been published internationally and in the Focal Encyclopedia of Photography. He received an AB in political science from Indiana University, and an MFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology.


Jenny Risher is fashion and portrait photographer. She graduated from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, where she earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography.
Jenny’s continual strive for perfection and natural sensibility has afforded her the opportunity to photograph for many illustrious clients. Her clients include ad agencies, magazines, publishing companies, celebrities, non-profit organizations and TV shows.

Jenny completed her first book, Heart Soul Detroit. A self produced venture, she interviewed and photographed 50 iconic Detroiters, including Iggy Pop, Smokey Robinson, Jack White, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Lily Tomlin, Alice Cooper, Bill Ford Jr, Lee Iacocca, Eminem, and Tim Allen.

Risher’s work is included in the permanent collection of The Detroit Institute of Arts, and is represented by the Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, MI.