HSFI Students Visit the ICP Museum

Before ICP’s exhibition Public, Private, Secret  closed earlier this month, our students from our Community Partnership with HSFI had the chance to visit the museum for Guided Tours.


Museum Educator and ICP Faculty Ifetayo Abdus-Salam speaks with the HSFI Photo I students in the ICP Museum

Some of our students took the opportunity to give us feedback on the show and also to interview their Museum Educator (and ICP Faculty member), Ifetayo Abdus-Salam and other classmates. Below, Photo I student Annabelle Mair shares her thoughts on the exhibition:

“We saw Public, Private, Secret at the ICP Museum. This exhibition was very unique and had a mix of different type of artwork. Some of the pieces in the exhibit stood out more than others. I especially [liked the more historical pieces.]

When our Museum Educator, Ife, was guiding the group around, it made me think about how some of the artwork collaborated within the exhibition. As I walked around at the end by myself, I noticed that with some of the pieces I wasn’t paying attention to the wall text. I feel like reading the wall text of a piece of art right away doesn’t have to have to be mandatory because not all viewers like to do that. By reading the text first, you hear what the artist [and/or curator] has to say, rather than looking at it first and trying out figure out yourself what the artist is trying to tell the viewers. As a student, I definitely walked out having learned something new!”



Credit: Curtis Willocks

Annabelle: What can someone expect when they come to the ICP Museum? 

Ife Abdus-Salam: A visitor coming to the ICP Museum to see Public, Private, Secret can expect their ideas about technology and public versus private spaces to be stretched and challenged. They can expect to be prompted to explore their own opinions and ideologies around what should be safe and what should be considered public. They should expect to leave here with a different understanding of how the relationship between image-making, technology, and personal spaces or personal privacy go hand-in-hand and have evolved over time.


HSFI Student Annabelle speaking with her classmates about the exhibition. Credit: Curtis Willocks


Annabelle: How would you describe the Public, Private, Secret exhibition at the ICP?

Ife Abdus-Salam: The exhibition is really thinking about ideas of privacy versus public spaces under the guise of visual culture, so we are largely looking at it through the lens of images that have been made and images that are shared and how culture can be explored visually in public spaces today.

This is a unique exhibition for ICP historically as it is not a majority of photographs. Photographs are 30% of the show which are used for historical context. There is a lot of video. Social media feeds have been incorporated.  Just as the exhibition is asking you to think about technology, it is also using technology as the way for the viewer to enter the exhibition.

Annabelle: When you come into ICP, would you read the wall text?

Ife Abdus-Salam: It is important for each viewer to have their own experience and interpretation with the work. Once you have had a chance to observe the work and spend some time breaking down what you think the meaning of the piece is, then I think it is important to read the text as well and get additional context directly from the artist.


Credit: Curtis Willocks

Annabelle: After coming to this exhibition at ICP, what did you like?  

Meriam, classmate: It was unusual.  I liked the pop culture.  I liked Andy Warhol’s photographs. I found interesting the multiple photographs taken from the computer screen without the person knowing. It was cool to see how a person acts in his or her own nature with no one’s approval.  My favorite photograph was of the naked guy — you saw what a person is without anyone’s judgment.


Annabelle interviewing one of her classmates. Credit: Curtis Willocks

Annabelle: If you could recommend this exhibit to a friend, what would you say?  

Ashley, classmate: This exhibit has awesome photographs that make you think about life and they make you think deeper than just the picture.  They make you think about the person being photographed and where they are being photographed. It makes you think a lot more.


HSFI Student taking the time to watch one of the videos in the exhibition. Credit: Curtis Willocks

Above: More shots from Public, Private, Secret from our Photo II students’ field trip. All images, credit: Richard Burrowes

This week’s post from HSFI comes from Photo II student Shelby Disla:

In 2015, photographer DL Cade published an article on the website 500px ISO about the #PictureIt Contest. The contest was motivated to “create empowering photographs of women and continue toppling the stock photography stereotypes of women we all loathe.” To enter the contest you’d have to take an empowering photo in honor of International Women’s Day, or pick your favorite empowering image from your archives, and tag it with #pictureit500px.

Here are a couple of my favorites from the website’s launch of the contest

I believe it’s extremely important to honor March 8th, International Women’s Day, to celebrate everything we’ve accomplished and our strength. To remember and thank those who’ve fought for us to be able to do what we can to today. To remind each other that we are capable of many things, to dream big. In this generation many things are spread online, and this contest allowed us to spread the importance and accomplishments of women. When you capture the moment of a woman’s strength and determination, many will feel motivated and [this can] spread worldwide.  Shelby Disla

Our latest HSFI student post comes from Amari Jones, who has been taking classes with ICP for years!

My mother is very supportive in my creative process and development. She has influenced my artwork, as she tries to expose me to different artists and experiences. Besides providing with the means to create art, she finds sources to share such as tips and advice to improve my techniques. Every so often, she’ll share a link or a picture to me. Sometimes I may not end up viewing everything she sends. However, when I do, it’s always beneficial to me. I’d like to share a link she recently sent me relating to photography, as well as two I’ve found on my own and enjoyed.

-Amari Jones

HSFI Student Highlight

Our latest post from HSFI comes from Photo II student Kyara Moran, who highlights a local photographer she admires:

The artist Sophie Gamand is a photographer and animal advocate who lives and works in New York. Since 2010, Sophie has been focusing on animals in shelters to help bring awareness to their fate and help them get adopted. My personal favorite series is Flower Power because it focuses on Pitbulls and brings light on the negative stereotypes and prejudice assumptions that have surrounded the breed.  I enjoy the sense of surrealism present on the image, [which] creates a painted effect rather than a photograph. The shadows that are located on the dogs bodies and outer edges of the portrait combined with their expressions depict soft and innocent images and representations of pit bulls, challenging the view of the overall breed. –Kyara Moran

ICP at THE POINT Teens Travel NYC

Throughout the fall term our Thursday teen class took shooting trips around the Bronx and to Central Park to observe the city during the changing fall landscape. Most of the students in the class chose to focus their work this term on observations of their neighborhoods and communities. It was interesting to hear students explain their intentions; some described the desire to present alternatives to popularly conceived notions of the Bronx,  while others simply wanted to depict daily activity in the city around them.

All photo credits: Ife Abdus-Salam, ICP Faculty

For our second HSFI Photo II post, student Andzelika Berestko chose to highlight the painter Francis Bacon and examine his use of photographs in inspiring his own work:

‘Remember, I look at everything,’ was a common saying of Francis Bacon, born in the time when photography was becoming [a documentary tool] of life. What really interests me is that he was often combining photography with painting in his thought process. He never painted from observation. Instead, he using photographs, pieces of newspaper and books [he found] anywhere. Folded images with stains on them, with drips of paint could be found in his messy studio. Francis created multitudes of paintings based on Eadweard Muybridge’s photographs. He was recreating represented scenes, analyzing the movement of humans and [their] basic needs. Bacon was deeply questioning the connection between the passage [of time] and pulsation of the person through paint, which he tried to show as alive as possible. What’s truly inspiring is that he felt the connection between himself, the creative process, and images found anywhere, which he was constantly collecting. There is no such a thing as plagiarism mentioned here- he was rethinking the images, creating them from different bases, showing its pulse, separating them from their original form, and adjusting it to his own situations. They all look bloody, and the movement drips down from the composition. –Andzelika Berestko


Francis Bacon on Primrose Hill, London by Bill Brandt, 1963


Eadweard Muybridge, Men Boxing, from Human Locomotion, 1887


Eadweard Muybridge, Two Men Wrestling, from Human Locomotion, 1887


Francis Bacon, Triptych Studies from the Human Body, 1970


Francis Bacon, Two Figures, 1953

Tuesday Preteens Fall Class

Last week we wrapped up our fall term for all of our ICP at THE POINT classes. Our Tuesday preteen class had a very busy ten weeks including a field trip to the New York Historical Society and a Guest Artist visit with Daniella Zalcman.

The best part of working with preteens is always being reminded to never underestimate their capacity for knowledge, creativity, and truth. There is so much happening around them and they are aware of everything. Being able to work with them in a creative setting that encourages critical thinking and expression through visual, written, and verbal skill feels more and more important.  The truth is–they are teaching us–we are merely giving them the language and the tools to do so.

Both our recent visit to the New York Historical Society and visit from Daniella were testaments to the power of our youth.  On the walk to the museum the students noticed a Black Lives Matter sign and paused to photograph it.


We have discussed the power of art as not the change itself, but as incubator for change. This sign allowed them, as children of different ages and races, to be able to open dialogue on their own terms, which was also the perfect segue to visiting NYHS’s Campaigning for the Presidency, 1960-1972: Selections from the Museum of Democracy and Photographs by Larry Silver, 1949-1955 exhibitions. As young & aware photographers they were able to make connections from past elections to present and grasp the process and effectiveness of campaigning, as well as see the work of a photographer here in their same city.

Our Guest Artist visit with Daniella Zalcman only continued this path toward change! Zalcman shared past work and how she arrived at her current project “Signs of Identity.” The dialogue that followed was nothing short of tense, honest, and inspiring. Her work documents experiences of Native peoples in Canada who were taken from their homes as young as two or three years old and sent to church run boarding schools. These Indian Residential Schools were an attempt to strip Native peoples of their identity and culture.

These multiple exposure portraits show survivors who are still fighting to overcome the memories of their residential school experiences. These individuals are reflected in the sites where those schools once stood, in the government documents that enforced strategic assimilation, in the places where today, First Nations people now struggle to access services that should be available to all Canadians. These are the echoes of trauma that remain even as the healing process begins.” –Daniella Zalcman

All photo credits: Isabel Figueroa, ICP at THE POINT Faculty