Saturday, October 27, 2012

Photography Panel with Devon Morgan, Chris Miller and Lucia Rojas and collaborative photoshoot

October 27, 2012

Photographers Devon Morgan, Chris Miller and Lucia Rojas joined us to share their work and their experiences as freelance photographers and videographers in the worlds of fashion, documentary and skateboarding.  Then, the Scholars paired off with the photographers and mentors to do a workshop based on photography and youth representation.

Three spectacular photographers and videographers, Devon Morgan, Lucia Rojas and Chris Miller presented their work.  Devon Morgan is a freelance photographer that focuses on urban photography such as modeling, fashion and catalog photography. Morgan showed us most of his photography work as well as the catalog shoots he’s done for very famous companies. He describes that the process was very hectic but it’s worth the price if you love the exercise. Lucia Rojas focuses on Documentary Photography in South  America and the Amazon to document cultures and ways of life. Lucia opened our eyes to a side of the world that we did not know. She wanted to be a photographer despite the fact that her father wanted her to become a lawyer. Chris Miller is a videographer and has toured places such as South Africa filming for a skateboard group. Miller showed us how being a photographer can be very helpful in working with video. He has also conducted and videotaped many community projects. Each had their inspirational stories to share with us. Lucia Rojas shared a quote with us by Henri Cartier-Bresson “ It is through living that we discover ourselves and the world around us.” That quote was very inspirational not only for our everyday lives but the project we did afterwards.
        The workshop following the photography session was really nice because it tackled some of the major social issues that we experience in our everyday lives. Discrimination knows no boundaries, no race, religion or nationality. We shared our personal experiences of times that we faced discrimination and took pictures based on those experiences. We then made a collage of the pictures we took to create the time that we felt alone or misjudged. This experience was an eye opener because it really made us aware that other people around us had faced or is facing the same situations we are. We got to know each other on a deeper level and became more open with our experiences. –  Lashun Costor And Daneele Thorpe

After the freelance photography workshop, we did an exercise where we collaborated with the photographers.  We talked about how photography can be a reflection and a way of expressing the way things are seen. We talked about how photos can show different representations of people, and asked how we would want to be seen ourselves vs. how we are often seen by the public.  We talked about racial and gender discrimination, stereotypes and how we portray ourselves. We wrote reflections of how we’d been affected by our own experiences, and we told our stories and opened up to each other. Then we wrote about how we actually wanted people to see us as young people and as individuals. Then we went ahead and started discussing our stories with our smaller groups and the photographer that was working with us. We tried to think about how we could work together to portray both of theseexperiences in a photograph.
There are a lot of people that happen to be perceived in an unfair, stereotypical or discriminatory way.   It affects us in many different ways; it’s not what we really want to be seen as. It can break us mentally or physically, but what harm have we done looking the way we want to express ourselves?  “Never judge a book by its cover,” because inside every book, every mind, there’s something wonderful to look up to and cherish.
           “I had people look at me with disgust because of where I’m from.   What they don’t see is that it takes more than your race to distinguish what role we actually play. Those who bring you down are not superior to you. I can present myself as a well-educated teenage girl, but that doesn’t matter in the real world. People don’t consume you on how well you present yourself, but how they want to view you.” (Maria Bravo). “People think I’m into drugs and a problem starter. I try to pay no mind but they always end up starting to come at me with violence and saying things I would never want to hear. It feels horrible to be treated like this. What have I done... is it just because I dress in black? You think I’m a freak? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You fall down, but always stand up in the end.“  (Amanda Franqui) If I were to be seen differently” I would love to be seen as a helpful person. Someone that is generous and picks up the pieces for those in need.” (Michael Ortega) It doesn’t matter where we come from. Nor what language we speak. We are all human no matter what. We shouldn’t be criticized for our ethnicity but who we are as an individual. <3 =) -- Amanda Franqui, Maria Bravo, and Michael Ortega

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Diller, Scofidio and Renfro

We went to the incredible architecture firm, Diller, Scofidio and Renfro where Junior Architect Kumar Atre showed us the legacy of the firm's work, and discussed what it's like to work for a company like this.  Then, Jac Mautner gave us a tour of the model shop, and a tour of one of the firm's flagship projects- the Highline!

            The Highline has been a spot of great historical importance and artistic inspiration for some of us Scholars. However to meet the architecture firm that designed and oversaw the construction of this marvelous landmark is priceless.
Located in the melting pot of Chelsea, the firm’s offices were aligned desks with cluttered papers of plans and ideas.  Beautifully made models were scattered throughout the room. There we met a junior architect and the workshop manager.   They gave us a simple history of their firm’s past projects; the reconstruction of the Lincoln Center and the designing of Julliard’s music building. Their style was obvious and elegant.   Julliard’s newly constructed building was sophisticated in its glass structure and modern interior design. The rooms were made to embrace the art of the musicians and the musicians themselves.  Their plan of their unfulfilled public park demonstrated their understanding of space and respect of the environment. This is greatly demonstrated all along the Highline, crowded with plants and flowers.
            After the intro, they gave is a tour. First we closely examined their wondrous craftsmanship in making extremely detailed and accurate models. Then they showed us their workshop. The walls were crowded with tools and materials.  Tables with “models in the making” and materials seemed to almost overflow the tabletops.   At the end of the day, we found ourselves once again on the Highline and saw it with new eyes.   ----Abigail Carrillo

Juniors' Parent Mixer and Inheritance Process drawing exercise

October 20, 2012

We started this afternoon by inviting parents and families to join us for lunch and an informal mixer.  Together, we worked on a symbolic self-portrait project and shared it with the group. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teen Design Fair

October 15, 2012

We met at the Cooper Hewitt Teen Design Fair, where high-school students can meet professional designers and have intimate conversations with them about their careers and insights.  Scholars were particularly excited about meeting Tim Gunn, Miss Jay from America's Next Top Model, and Christopher Bevans of Billionaire Boys Clubs.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Digital Literacy Workshop

October 13, 2012

This afternoon, we met as a group to discuss the importance of digital literacy.  We talked about how to select a professional email address, opened up Gmail accounts, and learned how to use Google Drive as a collaboration tool.  Then, we spent most of the session learning how to navigate College Board's college search option.  By using the information Nadia shared with us the week before, we created a list of schools that met both our needs and wants, and began to explore college websites.  Now each of us has a starting list of schools we intend to apply to.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

College Preparedness

This past Saturday both the Senior and Junior scholars started preparing for the college application process. The Seniors were introduced to their college mentors, and also started the college research process. By navigating their way through the college websites of their choice, the scholars where able to find out the deadlines for admissions departments and also financial aid information.

By starting now the Senior scholars will hit the ground running once they start filling out the applications for the schools of their choice. Good luck to all the scholars that took their SAT's on Saturday. I hope you all did well!

On Saturday the Juniors were introduced to the college jargon. Learning this will help the scholars understand the application process in their Senior year. This was a great second week of the semester!