Campus police officer displays photographic talent

Natalie Pillsbury

Kent State police officer Jeff Futo has his photos on display in the multimedia section of the third floor of the University Library. Futo’s photography was printed in the library and will be on display throughout the semester.

Credit: Beth Rankin

Copy and Design Services on the library’s third floor hosted the opening of “A Photographic Exhibition,” a show featuring the work of Kent State police officer Jeff Futo.

At the opening Friday, Officer Futo displayed a collection of photographs taken from his life and travels over the past two years. The exhibit is available in room 330 of the University Library for one month.

“He got interested on his own,” said Alan Futo, Jeff’s father. “He’s a natural. There are no genes involved — not that I know of at least.”

Composed of a variety of subjects, including the Chicago skyline and a black lab puppy, the show highlighted officer Futo’s versatility.

“You always get a wonderful sunset in Cleveland,” Futo said when describing his photo of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “It’s hard to get a good picture. I waited a couple of hours.”

Futo graduated from Kent State in 1996 and began working for University Police Services in 1998. He has never taken a class in photography but began experimenting on his own using a 35mm camera meant for crime scene processing.

“I try to carry a camera with me while I’m at work,” he said. “I usually see good shots, but I don’t have my camera.”

Futo used a digital camera to create the pieces for his opening. The enlarging, mounting and other finishing touches were done in the Copy and Design Center.

Copy and Design Services provides photography, graphic design and photocopy services to faculty, staff and students.

“The shows have been set up by invitation so far,” said Hilary Kennedy, a photographer and designer in Copy and Design Services. “They are mostly people we’ve worked with.”

Futo said he was introduced to Copy and Design Services when he needed photos printed for a police case. He started having his own photographs printed in the center, and employees noticed his talent.

“You don’t expect it,” Kennedy said. “It’s neat to see that he’s such a great photographer.”

The first exhibit displayed in the Copy and Design Services Center began last April. It featured the photography of a graphic design student.

New shows have been consistent month to month since then, said Kennedy.

Research displays for science conferences have also been exhibited in the center.

“It’s fun to have a space to create a show,” Kennedy said. “It gives everyone in the university community an opportunity.”

Contact library and information services reporter Natalie Pillsbury at [email protected].