Today’s site visits explored community based art organizations that focused on education and career development for the youth. Our stop was Market Photo Workshop, a photography center that trained youth in analog and digital photography. Their courses ranged from foundation 101 classes to in-depth photojournalism fieldwork programs. The workshop aimed to offer younger students the chance to practice photography, without the worry of high costs of equipment or improper instruction. The community built around the workshop offers better critiques. I found this space to be very similar to ICP in New York, where there is a school and gallery. The workshop is more community oriented and engages very well with social issues in Africa.
Our afternoon visit was to Artist Proof Studio (APS), an education center dedicated to the teaching of printmaking. APS offers very structured program. In our discussions we learned they are applying for accreditation and are hoping to soon offer certificate programs. Along with our earlier visit, these workshop spaces seemed to offer a kind of alternative education that worked much better than what is offered in normal schools. APS has also had a long history, surviving through a fire that took away one of their earlier spaces (which included a number of prints by artists that had gone through the program). It seems to be extremely challenging to start an organization, as we heard throughout our visits. It really takes inspiration and motivation to work towards those goal that have kept these organizations running for so long.
In the evening, we took it easy and stopped by two openings: one at the Stevenson Gallery and another at the Hazard Gallery. Both were in fact very different exhibitions and scales of galleries, though they seemed to have an overlapping crowd. I found the Stevenson gallery to be closest to a Chelsea gallery in New York. The works being shown were by a painter named Ivan Grose. This body of work used a soft pastel palette to depict materials such as classic greek sculptures and retro-leopard patterned fabrics. The press release did not really help us in interpreting the works, but felt very distant from the political art we were use to seeing. The second show at Hazard Gallery was a group show that explored protest and politics.