Courtesy of Kids in Focus
If you’ll be in Phoenix in late March and early April, be sure to visit a photography exhibition that supports a worthy cause.
Kids in Focus, a nonprofit organization founded by frequent Arizona Highways contributor Karen Shell, helps at-risk youths build self-esteem and awareness through photography. In January and February, 18 students ages 12 to 14 from Phoenix’s Children First Academy were mentored by 12 professional photographers and made photographs with digital point-and-shoot cameras collected through a camera drive. After the mentorships, the students wrote their image captions and personal biographies.
Through photography, the organization says, “the kids learn to see the world around them differently, changing their perspective about themselves and their environments.”
The result is a 44-print exhibit at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix. At the March 19 opening reception, each of the students will receive a hardbound book as a keepsake of their accomplishments. The exhibit will be on public display from March 21 through April 14.
To learn more about Kids in Focus and the exhibition, visit the organization’s website. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the photographs created by these talented kids.
This holiday season, give the gift of photography to homeless and at-risk children. Started by Phoenix-based photographer Karen Shell, Kids in Focus partners kids with professional photographers so they can learn how to explore and engage the world around them using photography.
You can drop off your used, fully operational point-and-shoot camera (with batteries and chargers, please) at any of the following locations by January 6, 2014:
2039 W. Lewis Avenue
3104 E. Camelback Road
606 W. University Drive
8970 E. Bahia Drive
Photo by Antoinette, Children’s First Academy student
Come out and support the arts. Starting this Thursday, March 7, the Phoenix Burton Barr Library will showcase a unique 38-print photo exhibit by 19 Children’s First Academy students who were mentored by professional photographers, including Karen Shell, Dennis Scully, Art Holeman, David Moore, Michael Norton, Jim Marshall, Jason Grubb and Ken Ross.
Photo by Eric, Children’s First Academy student
For five weeks, participating students from the elementary school for homeless and at-risk youth each received 27-exposure disposable film cameras through the Kids in Focus project. The film was processed, at no cost, by Tempe Camera Photo Imaging Center, and McKenna Pro Lab donated the 38 exhibit prints. Students met with the photographers and looked through the images to continue learning and experimenting with digital point-and-shoot cameras. Before the weekend, each student was given another camera to continue shooting.
Photo Larry, Children First Academy student
Photo by Destiny, Children First Academy student
The Kids in Focus project was developed and organized by professional freelance commercial photographer Karen Shell. The photographers involved in the project are from a nonprofit organization called Through Each Others Eyes.
An opening reception is planned from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 7. The exhibit is free.