The theme for the summer was “What’s My Story.” We went to the ICP Museum to see the Magnum Manifesto show. It was great for the students to see both old and new work on a much larger scale and the importance of visual storytelling. The show taught the students what a photo collective is and how different photographs can collaborate and tell stories that are typically unseen. They learned how the collective helped advance earlier photographers work and ownership over work for publications.
As young budding photographers, it was helpful for them to hear and see what hoops past photographers had to jump through to suceed and to the time, hard work, and skills they needed to become great photographer. One of the students was so moved by the show she set a life’s goal to be the first woman from The Bronx to be a Magnum Photographer. She says it doesn’t matter how long it takes to come true.
This summer, our class had the pleasure of welcoming one of Contact Press’ photographers, Frank Fournier, as our Guest Artist. Frank shared his first experience as a photographer living in a new place and the stories he wanted to tell. We viewed Drop Dead, which is Frank’s first body of work about his time in New York City. It was wonderful for the students to see his work and start to understand the process of building a story. During the slideshow, they discussed making time to photograph, finding a story, and understanding the importance of a story. After the presentation of work, Frank took time to view the students’ work and give feedback on their personal projects.
This spring semester at ICP at THE POINT, the Tuesday preteen class visited Central Park in Manhattan.
The theme of this term’s class is Natural World. The students have been learning different manual settings in their cameras. They exposed images combining the aperture and shutter speed. Through their photography, they have shown interest in capturing moments of urban nature in the city.
At Central Park, the students explored different areas, looking for scenes related to that Natural World: plants, flowers, animals, trees, clouds. We discussed terms of nature and ecology in relation with the parks in the city.
A couple of weeks ago, our advanced photography students had the chance to meet guest artist Gabriel García Román. Gabriel is a queer and Mexican artist living in New York City. His family immigrated to the states when he was a child to live in Chicago.
His portraits are not just a portrait, but a physical object to hold and contemplate. He explained to the students how he is constantly questioning the inherent flatness of photography. Through this process, he has developed unique ways of portraying a person by weaving, folding, cutting, interlacing prints, or collaging.
With the Defining You series he handles the subject’s childhood experiences that were formative or conjure memories to relive. To achieve this meshing of past and present, he weaves photographs from the subject’s childhood together with their portrait, creating intricate patterns that inform distinct and complex personal identities.
In Queer Icons, he decides to portray the many facets of the gender and queer spectrum, a community that is generally under-represented in the art world. He uses the language of Renaissance, Flemish, and Christian Orthodox paintings to elevate these figures to that of an icon. The portraits were prepared using a photogravure and chine-collé technique resulting in a single and unique print.
At the end of the talk, students had the chance to talk one-on-one with the artist. They shared some of their images and contact sheets, and discussed progress on their final projects.
All photos: Roy Baizán
Our ICP at THE POINT Monday preteen class recently had some fun nature-inspired opportunities outside of the classroom. First our students walked around Hunts Point, collecting specimens for an Anna Atkins-inspired photogram project. It was amazing to see the vastly different plants and flowers that were available just around this urban landscape.
Our class also had the chance to visit the Central Park Conservancy, a jewel in the city, often overlooked. The students devoured the landscape and close up details with their cameras, including the beautiful late-spring tulips. The first images of our outing are beginning to emerge and the images are striking and full of detail.
All photo credits: ICP Teaching Assistants Julianna D’Into, Lauren Marsh, and Corey Torpie
This semester the ICP at THE POINT Thursday teen class took a field trip to shoot in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden and the northern portion of the park. This class is themed My City My Voice, in which students are prompted to make images that observe the physical environments that surround them and ultimately allow them to explore personal ideas as they relate to growing up in the city.
Students were asked to observe what they felt drawn to shoot on the trip— to take note if they found themselves leaning toward street photography, landscapes, portraits and/or abstracted images. This trip acted as a companion to the week’s homework shooting assignment, which asked them to use their cameras to intentionally explore a specific environment of their choice.
All photo credits: Ifetayo Abdus-Salam, ICP Faculty
What Is Your Story? was the theme for this winter’s teen class on Thursdays. Through this theme we asked our young artists to begin thinking about really inspires them, what upsets them, what strikes them, and what holds their interest. This was a true test finding out what makes them individuals in this technology-driven era.
When we go out to shoot, we ask the students to pause and make sure their apertures/f-stops are set correctly for this moment they’re capturing, which helps ensure that they’ll get a good negative.
Faculty member Mark Nevers says, “I wanted them to take that time and understand the power in the image…the understanding of making your mark in time.”
The students take all they have learned in this photography class thus far along with the wonderful, informative instructors and their creative peers. Add a bit of patience to the mix and lots of great work will come out of this class!
Photo Credits: Roy Baizan, ICP at THE POINT Teaching Assistant and Mark Nevers, ICP at THE POINT Faculty