Students from Photography I viewed an exhibit and participated in an interactive portrait workshop conducted by an Arlene Schnitzer artist Janna Ireland at the Middle School on Oct. 19.
The visiting photographer’s show exhibits two cohesive bodies of work, “The Spotless Mirror” (2011-2013) and “Milk and Honey” (2018), in which Ireland investigates the idea of identity. Her work follows a central focus around “isolation, black identity and the performance of femininity,” according to her official website.
After explaining the underlying ideas behind her exhibited work, Ireland shared details of her journey regarding her practice as an artist, starting from her high school classes to her professional career with the students.
“I thought this was a great opportunity for students to meet an emerging artist and hear from them directly about their work,” Photography I teacher Alexandra Pacheco Garcia said. “It’s rare to be able to see an exhibition and hear from the artist about the choices they made or the history of work that lead up to that moment. There is a lot of value in the experience of viewing work in person as opposed to on a screen. Each work has a different sense of scale and presence and is in conversation with other pieces in the gallery space. That just won’t translate when viewing it online.”
Following her introduction, Ireland led the students in an interactive workshop in which she photographed students with different objects working with specific body language, pose and gesture.