May 16, 2013

Student Photography on Display as Part of Getty/826LA Community Photoworks Program

Photographs by students from James A. Foshay Learning Center

May 23–30, 2013
On view at TBWA\Chiat\Day


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Alexandria Sivak
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6473

Left to right: Photo by student Jesus Martinez; Students take pictures around their neighborhood

LOS ANGELES—The Getty Museum’s Education Department has teamed up with 826LA and Foshay Learning Center for Community Photoworks, a Getty program that since 2006 has introduced students to the art of photography. This year, the work of 42 ninth-grade students from James A. Foshay Learning Center will be on view in the exhibition COMMUNITeYe on L.A. Architecture, held May 23–30 at the Los Angeles offices of TBWA\Chiat\Day, with an opening reception on May 23 from 5:30–7:00 p.m.

Over the course of two months, students were mentored by visiting artist and 2002 MacArthur Award recipient Camilo José Vergara and educator John Midby, and assisted by a team of volunteers, as they focused on Los Angeles’ distinctive architecture.

Vergara shared his experience photographing Los Angeles architecture
over time and provided tips for composing captivating photographs. Following the presentation, the group embarked on a photo shoot along Exposition Boulevard, Western Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard in Central Los Angeles, where students applied some of the principles used by photographers to create images, including line, shape, color, composition and form as they explored the neighborhood surrounding Foshay Learning Center.

“It was an honor to have Mr. Vergara engage with the students in this year’s program,” said Toby Tannenbaum, assistant director of education at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “One aspect of his work in particular—his return to the same subject matter again and again—is significant for students in thinking about their own photography, in that they can capture more than one perspective, or return to the same subject with new approaches, or simply refine their work in subsequent images.”

The students then visited the Getty Center, where Vergara and curator Christopher Alexander took them on a tour of
Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990, which features the planning and design that created some of Los Angeles’ most famous architectural landmarks. They continued to hone their photographic skills across the Getty Center grounds, taking pictures of the architecture, gardens, and ocean and city views. Following the shoot, student photographs were critiqued by their peers and educators.

Left to right: Christopher Alexander; Students touring Overdrive exhibition

“I like how you can take pictures of the same building but viewed from different angles. It gives a different perspective and meaning to the image,” said Kimberly Mejia, a 9th grade student at Foshay Learning Center.

Julius Diaz Panoringan, director of education at 826LA, organized a team of volunteers that worked closely with teens at seven class sessions over the course of the project. 826LA volunteers assisted students with digital imaging to prepare final prints for the exhibition and coached them on writing about their work. At the exhibition, photographs will be curated and installed by the students themselves and accompanied by artist statements that further explain their approach.

“It has broadened the way they look at Los Angeles and the implications of its architecture economically and emotionally,” said John Midby, a teacher at James A. Foshay Learning Center. “Also, collaborating with the Getty staff and 826LA volunteers is very important in building their knowledge and confidence as artists.”

For more information about the Getty’s photography-based resources used in this program for student and educators, visit:

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations:  the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.

Visiting the Getty Center
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