Our first meeting at Mt.Pleasant Library had a small turnout of young artists. I worked with four young artists and with such a small group my classmates and I were able to share a great chunk of our time with each young artist. We started by getting to know each young artist one on one. We asked things like their name, their favorite movie, what they wanted to do in life, etc. I especially liked asking some of them who chose their name for them and where their names originate from. One of them told me that their name was just like their fathers, but with an extra letter. From there we had a conversation about the rules for each meeting. It wasn’t us just telling the young artists what they could and couldn’t do, but a discussion in which each one was able to say something they believe should be a rule for each meeting. Next, we gave them cameras and showed them how they functioned. We let them go out to the library and take pictures. With such a small group, we could share everyone’s pictures and say a little something about we thought about them. It was interesting to see what each person had to say because I know for myself my artistic eye was still developing and starting out just like the young artists. Walking into the library was like walking into uncharted and complex territory. Of course, there were some things that I saw that others didn’t take pictures of, but the same also applied to me. It felt awesome being able to share with everybody things that I saw that no one else did, but then also having the same done for me where I would see a picture of something that I missed in the library. It was even better when the young artists and my classmates would explain why they took the picture and what it meant to them.
I don’t really know at this point what I want our group to experience from these meetings. I also don’t know what I expect for myself to learn. All I know is that I just want communication. In some ways, it is good that I don’t know what I need to understand yet, but as long as we are open and in dialogue, I know that we will get somewhere. In the end, all I think I want for every person to understand is that communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, and mutual valuing. The young artists in our first meeting were somewhat shy which is understandable since it was our first meeting. They usually said a few words or just one sentence about their thoughts on a thing. I thought it was quite serendipitous when one student went to say that it was awesome that we were all taking photos because each person had a unique view on things and was special. This especially warmed my heart and the rest of my classmates to hear. This artist already knew the mutual value in each person’s outlook. As we go farther into the year, I am ecstatic to see how each person will progress and how they will get better in analyzing and discussing their photos with everyone. Most of all, I hope everyone comes to truly appreciate the value in one another just like that one young artist did that day.
Ivan Vukusic, Providence College Class of 2018, Computer Science Major and Music Minor