They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the students in are keeping things a bit more concise in a combination photography and writing project set to debut next month at .
The exhibit “Picture My World” will open with an exhibit and poetry reading on June 6. Nancy Rodgers, director of Do The Write Thing and an English teacher at , said the students have been given a thematic word or phrase each week. Their assignment is then to take a picture of something they feel represents that image.
“This is a pilot program,” said Rodgers. “We have not incorporated photography into Do The Write Thing before, but we’re ecstatic to do so.”
In one exercise, students shared their photographs on the theme of greed while other participants wrote down a few sentences about what they saw in the image. Jazzriel Lara, a 15-year-old New London High School student, took a picture of her best friend. Lara said she chose the image for the greed theme because despite wanting the friend all to herself, she realizes that having so many friends is what makes her smile.
“The smile I see on your face brings comfort to my heart,” Lara wrote.
Prior to this explanation, the students’ written reactions covered a wide spectrum. Dmitri Wallace, a 16-year-old student, saw “a sweet façade to hide the hate underneath.”
“It’s amazing what differences we see,” said Rodgers. “We think everyone sees what we see, but as we know from life so often that’s not the case.”
Wallace’s own photo was shot from the brush near the railroad tracks, looking up toward the overhead power lines.
“I see depression,” said 13-year-old student Clara Pratts. “It makes the world look like a garbage bag.”
Vincent Scarano, a professional photographer attending the session, said the image reminded him of lying in the grass and looking up at the sky.
“That kind of feeling of when you’re there, it could be happiness, it could be sadness,” said Scarano.
The opening will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 6 at Hygienic Art. The photography and writing will be on display in the galleries, and there will be a spoken word performance in the Hygienic Art Park.