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Facing the Page

Writing through the Lens: Exhibition and Reception for Students

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Harlem and Aguilar CRW students gathered at the Zora Neale Hurston Room of the Harlem Library on Friday May 28 for their debut as budding photographers of the CRWs of the NYPL. Students browsed the exhibit before guests arrived and were thrilled to see their photos mounted on the exhibit wall of the immense community room.

During the program, Site Advisors, Steven Mahoney (Harlem) and Elaine Sohn (Aguilar) explained the project and introduced our workshop photographer/educator, Sol Aramendi, and all of our workshop participants. [All of the Volunteer Tutors were also thanked.]

Sol enlisted the support of the students to recall the varied workshop topics. Students talked about shooting action pictures, visiting new neighborhoods, learning about sequence, taking portraits in the Aguilar garden and understanding lights and shadows. Each student was also invited to read their own photo essay which was on display under their photos.

Sol provided a slide show, accompanied by lilting melodies, highlighting all the students' exciting photograph portfolios.

Following the slide show, there was a reception honoring our photography students!

Guests at the exhibit included the students' family members; the NYPL Literacy Director, Ken English; the NYPL Education Specialist, Decklan Fox; the entire CRW staff, and many volunteer tutors. Sol Aramendi even brought her mother!

Here are some students' thoughts about the entire workshop series, taking photos and the final exhibit:

Tony:

I have never read aloud to such a large group before...

Pauline:

I passed by the acrobats in Union Square Park but didn't have my camera. I asked them how long they'd be there, ran home, and returned in time to take photos. I caught the female acrobat holding up the male acrobat...

Marwlee:

This first-time learning was fun. I have never used a camera before... I especially liked the challenge of taking a self-portrait...

Elton:

It's always good when you do something and it's put out there -- like I can do this...

Adrianna:

I enjoyed taking the pictures and doing the writing...

Jose:

Some new things I learned were: angle of shot, lighting, foreground, background, portrait, self-portrait, candid, birdsview, wormsview, straight shot.

Special thanks go to the St. James Church New Ventures Committee for sponsoring the "Literacy in the Arts" grant for our second year!

The Photography Exhibit will be on display in the Community Room at the Harlem Library during the month of June.

This is the final post in the "Writing Through the Lens" series.  Click on the links below for past entries in the series.

Introduction
Family Albums
Portraits
Dreams
Immigrant Heritage
Museum Visit
Portraits & Dreams
Special Objects

See a slideshow of students' photos here.

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