The Photo I class at ICP High School of Fashion Industries took a field trip to the Open Society Foundation’s Moving Walls 25: Another Way Home exhibition, where they received a guided tour from curator Yukiko Yamagata.
Moving Walls is an annual exhibition made by the Open Society Documentary Photography Project of photographers and artists whose work deals with social justice and human rights.
This year, Another Way Home brings together a variety of projects addressing the topic of migration, refugee and immigrant experiences through the lens of community, identity, and resilience. HSFI students Dana Morales DeBrecourt and Viangelly Peña shared their reflections on the experience.
I realized how important photography actually is, how someone can express a significant moment to show emotion, make a connection with the viewer and to capture a moment in history, in their life, and within their culture. This trip has really opened my eyes and has made me want to look a little more in depth at the life and struggle of immigrants because it is important to acknowledge others have a different story. I feel inspired to not only focus on my life but to focus on others in the world and the moments in time that are significant and dig a little deeper when it comes to photographing the world and people around me.
Visiting the “Another Way Home” exhibit at The Open Society Foundation has further opened my eyes on the true struggles of migration. The people showcased in the exhibit have been through so many hardships in order to gain a better life filled with better opportunities. This experience has inspired me as photographer because it has made me look at things through a bigger perspective. Before this trip I was feeling uninspired. Now, before I take a picture I stop to look at my surroundings so that I am able to capture a story behind the image.
This term we were elated to have as our guest artist Miguel Anaya. He shared with the students his personal journey growing up Mexican American in a border town in Texas and how he used dance as a way to express himself, get out, and see the world. We also viewed several bodies of work about dance, family, and a personal project which we had the honor of being the first eyes to view. Miguel is a artist in his own right and as a practicing photographer and dancer, he’s been able to marry the two. Through multiple series of powerful images he has captured the strength, beauty and vulnerability of the human body.
Mr. Anaya is a not only an alumni of ICP but also ICP at The Point. He spoke of what it meant to be a new student sitting in the exact seats they were in and the importance of community based organizations like The Point that help to nurture the artist within and put you amongst peers who share in the idea of investing in a passion. After giving his presentation Miguel hung around to give invaluable feedback on students’ work.
Today we were honored to have Michael LeBrecht as our guest artist. A former Sports Illustrated Staff Photographer, Lebrecht now has his own sports photography company where he helps leading sports superstars with their branding imagery. He spoke of his early beginnings as a sport photographer at age 11 when he went to NY Knicks’ games, sneaking to the lower levels for shots of the players. However, when he returned home to edit the images, and realized that he wasn’t getting what he saw in sports magazines. He decided to sneak down and get pointers from the professional photographers. This became a platform for Lebrecht, mixing his personal love for sports and professional love of photography. He later became an assistant for photographers at Sports Illustrated. When not on assignment he would do projects that were significant to him and shared them with his coworkers at Sports Illustrated. Doing work that meant the most to him won him a spot as a staff photographer at Sports Illustrated.
Sharing his story with the students was superb. It was a tale of never giving up even when your not getting what you originally set out to accomplish. He reminded the students to keep pushing themselves and their ability, and not to be afraid to ask questions. He spent time sitting with each student, sharing his insight and wisdom on how to further develop their projects.
Our trip to the ICP Museum gave way to an exploration. When looking at the work of Elliott Erwitt’s Pittsburgh 1950 or Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment, for even a second, one realizes that the is a magical object–capable of transcending boundaries of time and space. Our tour guide, Kevin, asked thought-provoking questions that encouraged students to dive deeper into the context of the images (social, historical, personal etc.), and go beyond the immediately visible. We used this context to understand not only when the photo was taken, but also whether or not the photographer was successful in connecting with his subjects to create an accurate portrayal. With our class’ focus this year being The Portrait, it is important that we see an array of different approaches to portraiture such as MULTIPLY, IDENTIFY, HER. Students left that exhibition excited and eager to jump back into their own projects. We talked about all that we had just experienced for the next hour and thirty minutes while heading home.
This week we had the pleasure of welcoming Guest Artist Lynn Cazabon into our preteen classroom for an amazing workshop combining botany and photography! Through an introduction to the wild and abundant plants thriving in the local environment of THE POINT, we explored the neighborhood to collect a variety of different species and to discuss the role these plants play in the local ecosystem.
The plants were then used to create images through a variety of darkroom-based techniques including photogram, cliché verre, and selective development. We learned a great deal about plants growing between the cracks in the concrete of our neighborhood (some are edible, some have medicinal properties!), while also managing to make some beautiful prints (not to mention a big mess)!
Lynn Cazabon is a Professor of Art at University of Maryland Baltimore County where she teaches a wide range of photography classes. Her work has been exhibited internationally and was recently included in the exhibition and book Emanations: the Art of the Cameraless Photograph by photographic historian Geoffrey Batchen. She is currently a South Bronx Resiliency Lab Artist-in-Residence at THE POINT.
The ICP at THE POINT preteens recently visited the Bronx Documentary Center (BDC), where they had the opportunity to view and discuss the exhibition Flint is a place by Zackary Canepari. Students learned about Canepari’s eight year project on Flint Michigan, focusing specifically on the story of a female boxer there. They also learned about the installation design of the exhibition.
The class also had the chance to meet Jesus Emmanuel, a member of the Bronx Photo League, on his way back from a day of shooting in the neighborhood with his large format camera. They got to go into the backyard with him and experience the 4×5 camera. He demonstrated, giving students the chance to maneuver the camera and the light meter and exposed a couple of images.
Activity shots, credit: Sophie Vasquez & Sara Munoz Ledo Rodriguez, ICP at THE POINT Teaching Assistants
Laurel Golio, a Brooklyn-based visual anthropologist and photographer, spoke with our preteens this winter. She is a working commercial photographer and the co-founder of WE ARE THE YOUTH, a photojournalism project that shares stories of LGBTQ+ youth in the United States.
Laurel led a class discussion on representation and story telling, asking the students who they believed could tell someone’s story best. After a productive discussion about how to approach stories with representation in mind, the students had a chance to share their work with Laurel and get feedback on their projects.