This summer’s Red Hook Labs x Inner-City Arts Summer 2019 photography courses focused on fashion photography and portraiture. With guidance from teaching artist Collette McGruder, students created images across various sites, including the Santa Monica National Forest. These young photographers drew inspiration from specific sites to launch an unexpected visual dialogue about youth, nature, history, and their collective and individual futures.
The start of the summer took place on the Para Los Niños campus, where students roamed and captured hallways and playground spaces to call to mind memories of childhood and elicit nostalgia. Through photography, students pondered where they came from and where they might go. Taking these questions with them, students visited the Santa Monica Mountains where grants from the Santa Monica Fund and the National Park Service made it possible for students to explore nature as a site of origin, creating a more dramatic tableaux.
“Participants were tasked to synthesize concepts and build narratives based on the beauty provided through nature, wardrobe, and each other,” said Collette McGruder. “A mystical narrative began to take shape. Most beautifully, so did their own vision and connection to photography as a form of communication and expression beyond its common use as a means for promotion or proof of achievement for recognition and acceptance.”
As students spent the final weeks of the summer editing and carefully curating their collective zine, Creators of A New Age, they realized a common theme strung their work together: change is inevitable.
Explore more photos here.