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Literacy in the Arts: Portraits & Dreams


Students in the CRW Photography workshop browsed the Groana Melendez Family Work Series of portraits photographed in the Dominican Republic and in New York.  The exhibit is on the Mezannine of the Aguilar Library and can be seen there until September 7, 2010.  It is presented by En Foco's Touring Gallery which features presentations by emerging photographers in community spaces throughout New York City. En Foco's mission is to support the creation of work by photographers of diverse cultures, primarily US residents of Latino, African and Asian heritage, and makes their work visible to the art world and accessible to under-serviced communities.

© Groana Melendez  Cousin Dinanyeline Pena Tapia, Villa Duarte, Santo Domingo, R.D. 2006. Family Work series. Archival Pigment Print, 24 x 30"© Groana Melendez Cousin Dinanyeline Pena Tapia, Villa Duarte, Santo Domingo, R.D. 2006. Family Work series. Archival Pigment Print, 24 x 30"Heard on the gallery walk were such comments as:
These are all portraits, not 'stolen snapshots.' What do you think?
Willistine answered: "Very nice photos, I like the ones from the Dominican Republic more. They make me remember my home, plenty of sunshine and there are lots of people outside."

Jose responded with  "Not like New York," while Sigfrido added, "Yes, they remind me of my childhood!"

In observing some details, Curtis said, "There are different types of clothing and climate," and Sigfrido added "colorful houses and lots of windows."

What's your favorite portrait?

Marwlee said, "I like the picture of the girl on the sofa. It looks like she is posing for her mom to take a beautiful picture. Nice colors! Her eyes look straight into the camera."

A recent assignment for the students was to write about a dream, and then find a photograph that reminds you of that dream.  The accompanying photos were taken by Jose and Marwlee.

Dream/Nightmare by Jose

At the age of five years old, I had a nightmare. The night before, I saw a movie in my apartment house. It was a black and white story on the television. In the movie, someone was stabbed in the back in a city back alley. This part of the movie was realized in my nightmare. I felt like I was stabbed in the back in the dark in a back alley. Suddenly, I awoke from this terrible nightmare, and screamed because the pain felt so real.

Dream by Marwlee

I woke up one morning and my head was hurting me and the thing that was happening to me was that I was throwing up. My stomach was tight and I had to see the doctor. He told me that I was pregnant and as time went on, my stomach would grow. I kept thinking when will I give birth to my baby so that the story of the pregnancy will be over.

Then I woke up and discovered it was a dream. Thank goodness that it was a dream!! This time of my life I can’t see myself getting pregnant!


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