Marvelwood School in Kent has announced Jamie Kay has joined the faculty to teach film and photography.

Kay has a strong background in electronic media arts, computer software, and programming.

Ben Willis, who has headed up the school’s film and photography programs for four years, will now focus his energies on the school’s award-winning Documentary Film Program.

Kay will bring his experience to Marvelwood’s film, virtual reality and photography classes.

Kay holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts 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 in 2019.

Drawing upon contemporary education theory, Kay’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 a Bachelor’s degree in 2005.

Kay’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, N.Y., a community media center, Kay served for 10 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, Kay’s teaching philosophy starts with meeting the students where they’re at and building forward.

Kay 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.

Willis has been working with students in the school’s summer sessions classes and with interns in the Summer Video Explorations 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,” Willis said. “And to show just how much we can accomplish through remote learning and socially distanced in-person activities like the Summer Video Explorations Program.”

The Video Explorations group is working with the National Park Service's Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area organization to make short documentaries on historic, cultural, and scientific sites in the Housatonic River Valley.