October 27, 2020

ImageMakers: Photography of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

“Valerie” (2020), Bella Warner (age 15), Hartly & Ruth Barker Branch

The beauty of photography is that it enables us to capture moments in time and place, permanently. When catching these brief instants, time is of the essence. And yet, photography is also timeless. It allows us to identify with and recall our cultural pasts and envision how we might foresee the future. Photography also relies heavily on perspective: who is holding the camera, how they angle it, what the subject matter is. How do these variables affect what is seen in the final image? Perspective is everything. And what better lens to see the world through than that of our youth? 

“Walking” (2020), Amy Gonzalez (age 14), Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch

For more than 50 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has celebrated the accomplishments of Club youth as they learn the art and science of photography through their national contest, ImageMakers. Teens ages 6–18 compete in several categories: Culture and Tradition, Portraits, Nature and Surroundings, Fashion and Style, and Editing and Filter. ImageMakers  is designed to help Club members go beyond taking simple snapshots and develop the skills to produce photographs that can truly impact a viewer. 

Local photographer Nader Abushhab with ImageMakers 2020 participants at Parkwood Studio in Phoenix. Photo: Scottsdale Arts.

Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and Parkwood Studio to provide a weekly artist-led photography workshop. Each week after school, Club members worked with local photographer Nader Abushhab in a professional studio setting to learn portraiture and ways of expressing identity through lighting, composition, and movement.

One of the members, Reagan Campbell, noted: “My experience with ImageMakers last year was definitely something I won’t forget. I really enjoyed taking photos with different lighting and having the ability to make choices that impacted my photos, as well as working in a photography studio. I learned a lot about all kinds of different lighting and composition options for making my photos stand out.”  

The winning images from the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch and the Thunderbirds Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale will be exhibited in the ArtReach Space from October 29, 2020 – March 14, 2021. 

The ArtReach Space is a community gallery that showcases work in response to social issues and concerns and also offers a window into Scottsdale Arts and city of Scottsdale art programs. The ArtReach Space is located across from Stage 2 inside Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 East Second Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. After the Center reopens to the public, currently scheduled for Nov. 4, the gallery will be open to the public Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.; and during evening performances.

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