Minnesota Native News: Youth Digital Photography Exhibit
LEAH: Mazinaakizige: American Indian Teen Photography Project is a youth program that is a partnership of the Minnesota Historical Society and Two Rivers Gallery at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. The internship program took place last Fall, and now, selected works will be shared with the public.
The display includes youth presentation on January 19th at Two Rivers Gallery. The exhibit, called “FORWARD” will travel across Minnesota after its time at the gallery.
Maggie Thompson is the Gallery Manager at Two Rivers Gallery.
THOMPSON: The program is to introduce students to digital photography skills, that’s the more concrete part. (:05)
LEAH: The program also teaches students how to write artist statements and put on an exhibit. The students have in-depth conversations with one another and artist mentors… and come away with much more than technical skills.
One question Native artists often have to answer for themselves is: What is Native Art? The youth in this program are no exception. But luckily they have one another and the mentors.
THOMPSON: Even adults tackling that question have difficulties with it. So the fact that they’re between the ages of fourteen and eighteen and they’re talking about these issues I think is really important for them. And to do it in a group with other Native students, because they go to high schools from around the Twin Cities, and some students don’t necessarily have a safe space or a group to talk about these issues with in school. (:30)
LEAH: The title of the exhibit, FORWARD, was decided upon by the youth.
THOMPSON: They thought, FORWARD. This day in age, being a teen with thinking about technology and stereotypes - [it’s] what it means to them to a modern native person. (:11)
Leah: Thomspon mentioned one’s student’s work… and how it reflects on how their culture and people are continuously moving forward with the times… and that this was key in learning about their identity… that Native people and culture don’t just exist in the the past, but continue on.
The exhibit at Two Rivers Gallery is up through January 26th.