Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wise beyond years: Latino youth photography in Fair Haven

I have two reviews in this week's New Haven Advocate. The first assesses Sueños Americanos, the wonderful show of photography at Arte, Inc. by 8th grade students from Fair Haven School in New Haven.

It begins:

While lawmakers in Arizona were busy legislating a nightmare for Latino residents of that state, seven immigrant students from Fair Haven School (Rony Leiva, Nestor León, Agustín Minor, Jomar Pellot, Edén Pérez, Uriel Pérez and Frances Torres) have been more commendably pursuing American dreams through an after-school photography program.

Their photos are being shown at ARTE, a Fair Haven-based nonprofit that promotes Latino art and culture. The exhibit is titled Sueños Americanos, or, fittingly, “American Dreams.”

Douglas Bowman, a teacher in Fair Haven School’s bilingual language arts program, has been working with the students since last fall in the after-school program. The idea was for the students — immigrants from Puerto Rico, Mexico and Guatemala — to produce a photo essay that represents things that are important to them.

The show flows organically by theme. Starting with immigration, it progresses through religion, youth, culture, student life and adult aspirations. The students developed the themes and came up with the ideas. Bowman taught them photographic techniques, but the images are theirs.

Read more here...

Fore reasons of space, one paragraph from my review was cut (it would have run before the final graf of the story). Exclusively here on Connecticut Art Scene you can read that graf:

Accompanying each photo is a haiku written by members of Mnikesa Whitaker's writing class. The students were shown the photos as prompts and asked to compose poetry in response. Mike Juarez Sartillo's haiku responds to Pellot's "Rompecabezas," writing, "Luxurious stuff/ all over our body, stuff/It is like a plague." "Typewriter" by Frances Torres shows two fingers in close-up poised on a laptop keyboard like a pair of legs about to wade into a river of text. In response, student Eyecenia Suarez wrote, "Look, she thinks of words/ to type so that she can write/ the way she's feeling."

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