Space of Her Own — an arts and life-skills mentoring program now in its twelfth year — is named in part for the room renovation at the end of each year, when each girl’s bedroom is transformed with new furniture and the artwork created throughout the program.
This year, for the third year running, the SOHO program will transform another room: The Art League Gallery’s solo room, which will host a special exhibit of photography by the SOHO girls.
For the exhibit, each SOHO participant created a photo narrative — all the way from taking photographs, to developing their own prints in the darkroom, to writing artist statements to accompany the images. It’s just one example of the arts education and life skills that the SOHO program provides each week.
Along the way, the SOHO girls learned how to work a film camera, design and think about lighting in a photograph, compose a photograph, create a narrative image, and use a dark room. For part one, photographer and instructor Alison Duvall taught them how to use the 35mm point-and-shoot cameras and black-and-white film.
(These cameras are all donated, by the way — you can see what other items SOHO needs on this page.)
In part two of the lesson, the students brainstormed their narrative and planned how they would use the available props and costumes to tell their story. Photographer and videographer Alan Ortiz gave a lesson on dramatic lighting, using the painting A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery by Joseph Wright of Derby as an example.
Zoraya demonstrates dramatic lighting; bottom, the Wright of Derby painting used for the lesson.
Finally, it was time for the photo shoot, with each girl acting as photographer and director, enlisting her friends and mentors as models. We’ll feature some of what they made in a future blog post, and you can see it for yourself, January 25–February 2 in the Gallery!