This week, we were proud to recognize the work of our first social justice-themed photography class, “VISIONS: A Photographic Journey in Social Justice.” A joint venture between Open Buffalo and CEPA Gallery, this summer 2016 photography class taught Buffalo social justice leaders how to compose and capture powerful images in their daily lives.
This hands-on course was designed specifically for community-minded partners and allies of the Open Buffalo network. It was offered at no cost thanks to a partnership between Open Buffalo and CEPA. The VISIONS curriculum covered the technical basics of taking powerful photographs (using any type of camera), and inspired participants to unleash their inner creativity to build a better Buffalo.
VISIONS participants expanded their visual communication skills and strengthened their capacity to engage broad audiences in their critical community justice missions.
“This class was very amazing, because I met a wonderful group of people, while learning a worthwhile skill: How to capture a moment that is everlasting,” said class participant Howard Patton III. “As I look across the (gallery) wall, I’m excited to see all the different techniques and all of the different ideologies.”
The course culminated in a one-week gallery exhibition and a one-night silent auction on Nov. 11. At the auction, photos from each participant were sold to raise funds for “Emerging Leaders,” the cutting-edge leadership development program created by Open Buffalo to educate and empower local change-makers. The exhibition and auction also served as platforms to uncover and elevate important stories within our local community.
The artists who took the VISIONS class and contributed to the exhibition/auction are:
- Jennifer Connor
- Danielle Gates
- Franchelle Hart (Open Buffalo)
- Michelle Jones (University at Buffalo Liberty Partnerships)
- Ahmad Nieves
- Monique Owens (Open Buffalo)
- Howard Patton
- Rosa Rojas (Catholic Charities of Buffalo)
- India Walton (Community First Alliance)
- Sarah Wooton (Partnership for the Public Good)