Ten Neighborhood Studios apprentices from all over the Greater Hartford area came together this summer for the Snap! Photography program hosted by the Amistad Center for Art and Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Their Master Teaching Artist, Caleb Portfolio, and his assistant, Molly McGuire, have been teaching them the magic of photography for the past four weeks. On the first day, while getting to know each other, the apprentices took portraits of each other with black and white film. During the week, Caleb showed the apprentices how to shoot, expose, develop, and print their pictures, all while exploring downtown Hartford.
Throughout the next few weeks, the Snap! apprentices have “taken their cameras for a walk,” searching for inspiration through their lenses. They have been mastering photography elements such as composition and depth of field in order to have more control over the pictures they take. Inside the studio, the apprentices have access to studio lights and backdrops, which create a very different shooting environment. In between shoots, they also have access to a film scanner and editing software like Photoshop, along with a complete darkroom setup (in a tiny closet, but it gets the job done!)
The apprentices are also getting a “behind the scenes” tour of the Wadsworth Atheneum, getting a chance to meet with talented staff members like Allen Phillips, Manager of Imaging and Publications, John Teahan, Librarian and Curator of Special Book Collections, and Alona Wilson, Assistant Director and Curator of the Amistad Center. Each week they are being exposed to not only the process of art making, but also what goes into actually running an art institution.
This year the theme for the studio is “Collective Memories.” Each apprentice is being charged with the task of developing a small body of work based on that overall theme. Some apprentices are looking into their past and exploring relationships with relatives that have passed away, while others are examining the idea of forgetfulness and faded memories. The final exhibition will include black and white and digital prints that the apprentices will curate and hang in the Wadsworth’s Hartford Courant Room.
The Exhibition opens on Thursday August 2 at 5:00pm at the Wadsworth Atheneum. Admission is $5 or FREE for members. We would love to have you all come and visit and celebrate our group’s amazing achievement. Thanks go out to all of our sponsors for their generosity and making this program possible.