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Frontrunner Gallery hosted the exhibit ‘Summer of LOVE’ on August 11th, featuring the photos and film created by the youth of Leave Out Violence (LOVE), to an audience of over 65 guests.

Summer Media Program ran for 7 weeks, three days a week, and in each 4-hour workshop day, 1-3 hours was dedicated to photography. Throughout the Summer, Program Coordinator Erica Reade led photography workshops and field trips with the youth, encouraging them to develop photo essays that depicted the realities of their lives and communities.

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Students of LOVE with their instructor photographer Erica Reade.

Throughout the Summer, Program Coordinator Erica Reade led photography workshops and field trips with the youth, encouraging them to develop photo essays that depicted the realities of their lives and communities.  Throughout the summer, the youth shot photos, presented their work for feedback from the group and Erica, and developed final projects ready for the ‘Summer of LOVE’ Exhibit.

Participants began with an introduction to basic photography skills: rule of thirds. lighting, framing, composition, with an emphasis on exploration and experimentation with their cameras and projects. Throughout the summer, the youth shot photos during the numerous field trips they took around the city and in their own time in the evenings and on weekends.  Field trips included Chinatown, 5 Pointz Graffiti Center in Queens, the Staten Island Ferry, Washington Square Park, and Inwood Park. Following the field trips and weekends, there were weekly photo reviews and feedback sessions, where youth and staff would offer ideas and critique to each youth on the images that stood out and to improve and strengthen their projects.

Frontrunner_LOVE_2By the 6th week, youth were asked to narrow down their photos to a final selection of 10 photos to present in the end of year show. Youth edited and selected their photos by asking themselves if the focus and exposure were right, if they loved the photo, if it felt finished and alive, and if the message was clear and told the story their project set out to tell. The photo projects centered around ideas of youth and identity, the importance of family, homelessness in NYC, self-acceptance as teenagers, and healing from violence.

The show, ‘Summer of LOVE’ was a great success. It was great fun to see the group come together to celebrate the summer. For most youth in the program, it was the first time they had seen their photography work printed and hung on gallery walls. Youth are accustomed to seeing digital images daily, but many youth remarked they felt proud of seeing their photos printed and hung on the walls. Youth invited friends and family to present their projects to. The show communicated a message of non-violence and gave youth the voice to communicate to the community the issues and topics they cared deeply about.

The vibrant LOVE youth are ages 13-19, and this was their first exhibit at Frontrunner Gallery.

For more information, please contact Erica Reade at ereade@leaveoutviolence.org

www.leaveoutviolence.org