This was our last week working with the Young Artists at City Arts. As such we needed to go through all the photos they had taken over the course of the class to select which would be in the exhibition. This was quite a process as the Young Artists had taken many photos over the past weeks. Narrowing it down was a challenge.
As the Young Artist came flooding in the classroom, what I can only describe as a flash of neon orange ran over and took the stool next to me. Ben has always been one our most active but challenging Artists to teach. He constantly wants to be entertained and receiving attention. If something doesn’t interest him than he will simply move on to something else. But he is also very creative and has a great sense of humor and energy that brightens the room. As he sat next to me we connected over the rubrics cube he had brought with him. He was very excited to tell me all about it and the bag of Cheetos in his coat pocket which he grabbed on his way in.
We asked the Young Artists to choose just five photos that represented themselves and their communities. This concept seemed a little puzzling for some of the Young Artists while coming more easily to others. Ben’s attention was harder to hold on to once we started looking at the photos on the computer. It was hard to get him to focus on the criteria for choosing the photos. He had very strong opinions about which photos he wanted in the exhibition, almost every picture he chose was one of himself. I found the best technique was to give him little breaks, letting him put his attention on something else then bringing it back to look at more photos. However I did noticed he was very enthusiastic and proud to show his photos to the whole classroom, or whoever’s attention he could get.
For our closing activity we went around and asked the Young Artists to share what they had titled their top photograph. This was both amusing and insightful, as it showed us how the Young Artists were viewing their own photos. Some of the titles were more thoughtful while others tended to be more descriptive of the content of the photo. The teaching portion of our work at City Arts may be complete, but there is still a lot of decisions and “narrowing down” to do before the exhibition date.
Kate Day, Providence College Class of 2019, Photography Major
Public & Digital Relations - Dee, Gretchen, Danny & Stephen