Here’s a more recent portrait from this past Arts In Bushwick Youth Expo and Skillshare at Silent Barn this past May. We took this shot in the courtyard with the staff from Mellow Pages whose library sits in a trailer there. The event, which featured local artists teaching their craft local to youngsters, was a wonderful opportunity to reach out to a community that I see mostly at nighttime in the company of adults. When taking my group portrait for their first expo two months previous, I gave a short lesson on how I gather folks together using at least two instant film cameras. Many of the kids seen here were present for the first one so tried to give a ‘201’ version of the talk I’d given before.
Starting with an announcement that the portrait would be taken in front of Mellow Pages’ trailer library, I proceeded to add signs, arrange staff members and feature surrounding art.
‘A good documentary photograph is loaded with information,’ I told them, ‘and the title sign of this library, the mural above and the participating artist’s logo on the stickers some of you hold will give future observers an accurate idea of where and when your were in Bushwick at this moment. And you guys are information as well. These future observers will be better able to determine what time of year it was is by your clothes, the clothes themselves can date the era and with so little contrast over your faces under our outdoor lighting they can correctly theorize that it was overcast day.’
Explaining the features of my medium to folks as diverse culturally as they were age-wise was a delight and its instruction coupled with practice makes the whole of my work worthwhile.
To participate in Nick’s next Arts in Bushwick group portrait please join us for Community Day on June 17 at House of YES, and be at the main stage by 3:15pm.