Last night Nick and I opened what we felt was the most successful (and most fun) opening thus far. Front Street featured 24 photographs by three Ypsilanti Community School students: Berek Clouse of Estabrook Elementary School, Sydney Johnson of Washtenaw International Middle Academy, and Martell Johnson, a recent graduate of Ypsilanti Community High School. The theme was left open to interpretation of each student photographer and while we saw certain elements of Ypsilanti — the river, train tracks, buildings — composition and weight of importance differed greatly.
Each student had worked with Nick previously and were chosen based on their affinity to the medium and potential. We talked to them about what to photograph and then spent collective hours curating each artist's eight photos, out of over 1,400 images. After titling and setting on a price, each was framed and installed.
Last night students presented their work and even "worked the room" a bit, interpreting and selling their works, moving half of the show out the door! 100% of sales went directly to the photographers.
This entire project was made possible by Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and facilitated by Russ Olwell, Director of Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities at Eastern Michigan University. We want to thank all the families and friends which participated in this process and supported the students last night. They are truly exceptional and we see wonderful things happening for each budding photographer. Congratulations, Berek, Sydney and Martell!