Youth Forex, Albany Institute partner on Gordon Parks workshop and student exhibit

Stella McDaniel

Guided by the coaching of Youth Forex and the operate of acclaimed photojournalist Gordon Parks, seven regional pupils established out to doc the environment. As a result of their lenses, they captured a altering natural environment, depictions of Black girls in the mass media and culture, and the contours of an urban landscape and universe that was distinctly theirs.

“Lenses” is the fruits of “Gordon Parks: My Digicam is a Weapon,” a workshop established in partnership with Youth Forex and the Albany Institute of History and Art. The students’ perform is on screen along with the museum’s existing Parks exhibit “I, also, am America” by means of Feb. 17.

“Being in a position to share with the neighborhood is actually essential for the learners,” stated Bhawin Suchak, co-founder and co-executive director of Youth Forex. “They can get that response back and have people today genuinely know them as youthful people who have some thing to say as artists.”

Camille Dobbs, the direct educator for Youth Fx, created the 6-week program all-around Parks, ideal known for his social justice perform. A lot of of the challenges Parks’ images captured, like racism and poverty, keep on these days, Dobbs stated, making Parks a potent purpose model for the learners.


  • Where by: Albany Institute of Heritage and Artwork, 125 Washington Ave, Albany
  • When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 12 p.m.-5 p.m.Sunday via Feb. 17 opening reception 5:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 20
  • Admission: $10 for grown ups, $8 for seniors and college students with I.D., $6 for children ages 6-12, free for users and young children below 6. $2 discounted is specified to AAA users, healthcare workers and veterans with I.D.

“What stands out about Gordon Parks’ operate is the way that he centered care in his inventive exercise, anything which is missing these days, in my view, in conditions of journalism and pictures,” she claimed. “It was genuinely important to me to centre the application all around what it usually means to be an artist-activist.”

For six weeks, Audrey Finck, Zyaire Gaddy, Jazlyn Gorousingh, Lyndsey Heyliger, Noah Hotaling, Jace Privott and Olivia Rose qualified with Youth Fx team and regional photographers Tyler Ki-Re, Jayana LaFountaine and Courtney Staton to find out the specialized facets of photography and Parks’ legacy, frequenting the Albany Institute’s show to examine his function.

“It’s so inspiring to see the following era who’s also tremendous-interested in images have this chance and have cameras in their hand and have this software be open to them,” Ki-Re claimed.

The learners were being tasked with shooting their worlds, drawing from Parks’ perform. Just one picture from every single students’ remaining portfolio was picked to display in “Lenses,” which opened Saturday. Albany Institute will host a special reception celebrating their do the job this Friday at the Rice Household.

“We don’t usually give (students) the place or the time or option to genuinely examine problems that are weighing hefty on them,” Dobbs mentioned. “It was genuinely significant to have anyone like Gordon Parks be a job design and to give them cost-free rein to tell their tales.”


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