Frank Chodl received his BA in Studio Art/Photography from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 1977 along with studies at Nazareth College of Art and Rochester Institute of Technology. In 1976 he was inducted into Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. After graduating he borrowed against everything he owned (and a lot that he didn’t) and opened his first studio in Auburn, NY, doing everything from weddings and baby pictures to industrial trade publications. In 1984, Frank relocated to Winston-Salem, NC and assignments afforded him all new experiences. He has climbed mountains to 11,000 ft., explored wild caves, hung out of airplanes at 6,000 ft., snorkeled with sharks and barracudas, piloted a 65 ft. sailboat through a midnight squall in the Bermuda Triangle, and climbed into the crater of a volcano, all in the pursuit of his art. One of his students said that his epitaph will read, “But I got a great shot!”
From 1990 through 1992, he was the Vice President of the North Carolina Piedmont Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers and, in 1991, he was inducted into Who’s Who in Advertising for his commercial photography. His photographs have been published and displayed in the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and The People’s Republic of China.
In 1984 Frank was hired to teach photography at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC and then also at Surry Community College, Dobson, NC. In 1994 he was offered a full-time teaching position at the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Career Center. He has earned two master’s degrees in education, has twice been inducted into Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education. “Each time a student would come out of the darkroom or off the computer, after several classes of trial and error, with that ‘finally perfect’ print, the look on his or her face and expression of ‘wow’ reminds me of why I chose this path so many years ago.” In 2007, Frank was invited to be one of 34 educators from across the US to attend a symposium on Trade and Industrial Education in The People’s Republic of China, in conjunction with the People to People Ambassadors Program and the Association of Career and Technical Educators.
Frank completed his series “Luna Tricks” in 2008 and is currently working on “Moũsai,” a surrealistic series that juxtaposes the human form with lines and textures both man made and natural. “I was greatly inspired early on by the work of Wynn Bullock.” The title comes from the ancient Greek origin of “muses” which means “to think,” and depicts characters form mythologies and religions throughout human history.