I-Click Photography presents MIDDLE GROUND Photography Exhibit: A journey into storytelling through the lens of Saint John’s Youth
Opening: Wednesday, August 17, 2021, 6:30pm | Saint John City Market Solarium space | All welcome
The I-Click Photography program, through the collaborative efforts of the Teen Resource Centre (TRC), the University of New Brunswick, and the Saint John Arts Centre, enabled a select group of Saint John youth to tell their stories through the medium of photography by creating photo narratives to express their views of the community and the role(s) they play within it. Additionally, a research component is examining how this art-based project impacts self-esteem, engagement in skills development, and how the broader community understands the youth experience in Saint John.
The program was comprised of evening workshop sessions that were held twice weekly in July and August at the Saint John Arts Centre. During this time the group worked with various facilitators, including photographer Rod Stears, who instructed them on technical aspects of photography and camera use. Over the course of several weeks, participants were paired with mentors from the Saint John Arts Centre and the Teen Resource Centre, who guided their creative decision-making process.
As the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Saint John Arts Centre, I am grateful to have been part of this moving experience as the group members explored what they wanted others to know about their personal history, culture, and their relationship to their new-found community. The program participants were Newcomer youth who, with their families, had found their way to Saint John from different areas of the world. Their lived experiences reminded me that, as children, many of us have had the great fortune to be blissfully unaware of the tenuous ties that bind us to our families, homes and indeed, life, and that those ties can be broken in a moment, with no chance of innocence regained. Through the course of this program, it was made evident that for this group the hardships of the past are very slowly giving way to a sense of hope for the future; an intrepid journey to find middle ground.
With the theme ‘life is a balance of holding on and letting go’, images and narratives form the group exhibition entitled MIDDLE GROUND. The exhibit opens at the Saint John City Market (Dining Area & Alley) on Wednesday, August 18, 6:30- 8:30, and then remains on display as part of Third Shift Festival of Contemporary Artworks in Saint John, August 19-22, 2021. A special thank you goes out to Kate Wilcott, Arts & Culture Coordinator at City of Saint John, Andrew MacDonald, Manager, Saint John City Market, and the organizers of Third Shift for their help.
-Harriet Taylor, Education & Outreach Coordinator, Saint John Arts Centre