Reach Higher: Women and Children Learning Together Exhibit at SKyPAC’s Children’s Gallery May 3rd – 31st, 2012

By Admin, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 7:00 AM CST

The Housing Authority of Bowling Green and Western Kentucky University’s (WKU) Photojournalism Department will collaborate on a unique exhibition.  The exhibition will feature images created by low income women and children in the Reach Higher Program working in tandem with an aspiring group of WKU journalism students and facilitated by WKU Photojournalism professor Jeanie Adams-Smith and the Housing Authority’s Community Initiatives Director TJ Shockley.

Jeanie Adams Smith and WKU Photojournalism students will hold a photography workshop for the REACH HIGHER women and children.  Through a generous donation from Nikon, the women will then take digital cameras into their own lives for two days. The kids will receive disposable cameras and will explore and document their own world as they see it.

Additionally, a group of seventeen students from the 2012 Spring Pictures Stories Class at Western Kentucky University will spend a month documenting the lives of the REACH HIGHER women and their families and their day to day activities including their homes and worksites, including the Housing Authority of Bowling Green’s Reach Higher welfare to work job training program.  The families are excited to have their personal stories documented. WKU students will gain a real world, hands on experience while telling the participant’s stories through pictures.

The pictures taken by the students, the women, and the children will all be developed under the direction of professor Adams-Smith.  The students will curate the show by choosing images from each family (some by the students, by the women, and by their children) all to be displayed together. Those photos will printed and matted for display.

At the end of the project, the students and women will come together to share their experiences and the images.

TJ Shockley shares, “Our hope is to publically display the images created by the women and children alongside the student’s Picture Stories class work.  In an accessible space, like the Children’s Gallery of the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center, the Bowling Green community can see the power and art of photography from WKU’s photojournalism program as well as the empowering influence of the Reach Higher program for these participants from the Bowling Green Housing Authority and beyond.”

“One of the most powerful ways the women identify themselves is as mothers,” said Adams-Smith. “This exhibit during the month of Mother’s Day only helps celebrate a powerful program for underprivileged women and children trying to better their lives.  We’re excited to engage the women in an experience with college students,” said Adams-Smith, “and in turn the students get a unique opportunity to tell a story about an important program in this community.”

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