Photojournalist Comes To Liberty

Visual communications specialist David Kovaluk from St. Louis Public Radio talks to Liberty students

David+Kovaluk+explains+what+the+photojournalism+contest+is+after+giving+his+presentation+to+the+first+hour+graphic+design%2C+journalism+and+photography+classes.
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Photojournalist Comes To Liberty

David Kovaluk explains what the photojournalism contest is after giving his presentation to the first hour graphic design, journalism and photography classes.

David Kovaluk explains what the photojournalism contest is after giving his presentation to the first hour graphic design, journalism and photography classes.

Leah Miget

David Kovaluk explains what the photojournalism contest is after giving his presentation to the first hour graphic design, journalism and photography classes.

Leah Miget

Leah Miget

David Kovaluk explains what the photojournalism contest is after giving his presentation to the first hour graphic design, journalism and photography classes.

Leah Miget, Reporter

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On Oct. 9, Mr. Tiemann’s graphic design class, Mr. Hall’s journalism class, and Mr. Weis’ digital photography class started the day in a different way than usual. All three classes congregated in Mrs. Lewis’ horizons room for a presentation from David Kovaluk, a visual communications/graphic art specialist for St. Louis Public Radio.

“I have known Mr. Kovaluk since we were in second grade so since we were 7. We were in the horizons program together and I had friends in his neighborhood so we’ve grown up together,” Mrs. Lewis said.

They recently got back in touch while Mrs. Lewis was getting her master’s degree and she reached out to a bunch of horizons alumni to get some pros and cons about the horizons program. When she started teaching at Liberty, she started trying to reach out to former horizons students to see what they were up to. When she and Mr. Kovaluk got back in touch and started catching up, Mrs. Lewis figured that having him come to Liberty would be a great opportunity for some graphic design and journalism students.

The presentation covered elements of visual communications ranging from photography to graphic design to photojournalism which sparked an interest in quite a few students in the room.

Mr. Kovaluk went to Holt High School and now has a bachelor’s degree in photography from Webster University. His job at St. Louis Public Radio has him doing anything and everything to get their message across through visual means.

“My favorite part of working for St. Louis Public Radio is being able to work with people who are passionate about what they do and the overall feeling that we are really working to help elevate everyone in our own community,” Mr. Kovaluk said. “It may sound cheesy but it’s the truth. My co-workers are very engaged in the world around them and we all strive to be a positive force for St. Louis and our surrounding areas.”

While many examples of his photography and graphic designs were displayed in his presentation, there were a few designs Mr. Kovaluk elaborated on that were controversial or symbolic for issues being reported on by St. Louis Public Radio. These included visuals, each designed in inventive ways, representing gun violence, the wage gap, and arming teachers at school.

Students remained attentive throughout Mr. Kovaluk’s presentation which piqued the interest of a few particular students who are interested in graphic design, photography, and journalism at present and possibly in the future as a career.

Junior Shawn Paluczak and Mr. Kovaluk share a common interest in graphic design so when the floor was open for questions, Paluczak asked Mr. Kovaluk what he uses to create his designs and they briefly compared the programs and tools they used for their work.

“The most useful thing from that was learning how he started. The thing about art is that it’s very difficult to actually get some traction without having someone to say, ‘Hey this guy is a great artist. You should go check out his stuff,’” Paluczak said.

Mr. Kovaluk’s presentation gave Paluczak some ideas as to where to go to college because he wants to go into design of some sort, whether it be graphic design, character design for movies or even technical design for cars. It also gave him some ideas of what to look for in schools and lead him to start wondering if the colleges he wants to go to have a good art program or if he is really going to get anything out of the things they are teaching.

Towards the end of his talk, Mr. Kovaluk explained what the Photojournalism Prize is for St. Louis Public Radio. The contest ends on Oct. 14 and winners will be announced on Oct. 18. He is also not the only career speaker scheduled to come to Liberty. Anyone interested in nursing can come to Mrs. Lewis’s room on Wednesday, Oct. 16 during third hour to listen to and meet Janet Hansen, an ER nurse, school nurse, and CPR instructor. The link to sign up for the nursing career discussion is: https://forms.gle/4osLM5vBdo4iSZFRA