Joseph Rodriguez speaking to our teens at the BDC. Credit: Cristián Cáceres, ICP Teaching Assistant
All of our ICP at THE POINT students visited the Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) this fall to see photographer Joseph Rodriguez’s Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ‘80s. We were lucky enough to have Joe there for each visit to speak with the students about his images and the exhibition. He spoke with them about how he got started on this project, what it was like as a teenager growing up in Brooklyn, and how photography became an outlet for him. We were lucky enough to be joined by the BDC’s own preteen/teen students for each visit too!
Joe discusses his work with our teen students. Credit: Cristián Cáceres
Preteens viewing Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ’80s. Credit: Kylie West, ICP Teaching Assistant
Credit: Kylie West
Preteen students learning to use the projector at the BDC to view more of Joe’s images. Credit: Kylie West
In early November, our Monday preteen students had the opportunity to hear from Roy Baizan, alumnus from ICP at THE POINT and the Bronx Documentary Center Junior Photo League. Roy is a Chicano Bronx-based photographer currently in ICP’s One-Year Certificate Program in Documentary Practice and Visual Journalism. Roy started at ICP at THE POINT as a teen and soon began working with us as a Teaching Assistant and as staff in ICP’s Community Programs.
Roy speaks to the preteen students about his work.
Roy and Ife, ICP Faculty, viewing and discussing some of Roy’s first prints.
For his Guest Artist visit, Roy brought prints from his first black-and-white class at THE POINT to look at with the students while discussing their own work. He then showed some of his recent work from a trip to visit his family for the first time in Mexico.
Roy discussed his approach to photographing family members, and knowing when to be present in a situation versus when to document it. The students participated in a group discussion about their impressions of the images and documentary photography.
Images, credit: Corey Torpie, Teaching Assistant
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