Over the last few months, students in the Prospect Afterschool & Recreation program have been learning the ins and outs of photography with Miss Jhomalys from Kids With Cameras. Their work culminated in a spectacular final exhibit which they collectively titled, “We Live in Art.”
Kids With Cameras is an NYC-based visual arts school founded by photographer Diana Kahrim, to teach photography to kids and adults in an engaging way. Through their classes, students at HFH were empowered to explore different forms of art and creative outlets.
“[We want] them to know that photography is also something [they] can do—it’s not just something that you see in books,” said Kids With Cameras instructor and photographer Miss Jhomalys.
After learning the basics of how to use a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera the Afterschool kids were taught about a specific artist or photographer each week. Students then created art inspired by the chosen artist and photographed their creations using their newly acquired skills.
Nine-year-old Jace’s favorite week was when they learned about Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. Ugo Rondinone is widely known for his sculpture Seven Magic Mountains, a piece comprised of large colorful boulders. The kids wrote a poem and crafted a sculpture out of blocks influenced by his work.
“Each class the kids became more comfortable with operating the cameras. When they participated in the lessons, they were able to apply previous skills they had learned,” said Patricia Striggles, Afterschool and Recreation Supervisor at Prospect. “I hope the kids took away an interest they may want to explore more.”
Families and staff from the Prospect Family Residence were invited to the final exhibit where the students showcased their favorite shots and final portfolios. The kids were proud to show their work to their loved ones and walk them through their creative process.
“Getting them excited about the work that they are creating is key,” said Miss Jhomalys.
“[We want them] to feel proud of their work.”
Miss Jhomalys was impressed by the transformation of the kids throughout the class.
“In the beginning they weren’t that interested, in the last class one of the students told me, ‘You know I was really not having a good day, but this made me really happy,’” said Miss Jhomalys.