In-Sight Exposed

October 13, 2017 - January 8, 2018

In-Sight Exposed showcases work by students in Brattleboro’s In-Sight Photography Project. To compile the exhibition, I sorted through thousands of images made over the years by In-Sight students. In this way I had the privilege of traveling through their lives, seeing what is important to them—their friends, pets, family, community—as they photographically explore their surroundings—their home, their town, and nature.

The act of carrying a camera encourages students to look in new ways. I love seeing the confidence and power that develop when teens get to show their own world through images that say “look, this is what I care about” and “did you ever notice this?” If you scroll through a roll of film or a day’s digital files, the personality of the photographer shows, and threads of many stories emerge. An entire exhibit could be filled with great cat photos alone!

The work shown here illustrates the variety of media taught and the range of programs offered by In-Sight, including analog and digital prints; video from the Exposures Cross-Cultural Program in South Dakota; a montage of project prints; photographs of students at work; a booklet of interviews with photographers. These terrific images represent only a small fraction of the amazing work of In-Sight students. And—yes—there is even one cat photo.

Students are constantly coming and going at In-Sight’s downtown space. It is a comfortable hub for them, creatively and socially, a place where they feel at home and inspired. They take classes, develop film, chat with friends. The young photographers borrow cameras to take home, to protest rallies, on hikes, on trips. In the process of learning photography, they develop an understanding of the world around them.

In-Sight means a great deal to me. I started teaching and sharing my love of photography there in 1996. As the students struggled with rolling film onto a spool, developing negatives, printing photos—marveling at the magic of it all—their experiences exactly reflected mine when I shot and developed my first roll. A program like In-Sight would have meant so much to me during my teen years; it brings me great joy to see how the In-Sight program is shaping the lives of its students today.

— Rachel Portesi, Curator

In-Sight at 25: Celebrating Our History, Rededicating Our Commitment

In 1992 photographers Bill Ledger and John Willis conceived In-Sight Photography Project as a free course for Brattleboro teenagers who had few productive ways to occupy their summer days. Beginning as an all-volunteer enterprise, over its first 25 years In-Sight has become a prominent youth organization offering accessible photographic arts education year-round, through three program models:

  • Core Curriculum’s twenty distinct classes offered after school at the Brattleboro facility to young people 11–18 from throughout Southeastern Vermont, Southwestern New Hampshire, and North-Central Massachusetts.
  • Collaborations with local partners, including the Brattleboro Area Middle and Brattleboro Union High Schools, New England Center for Circus Arts, Brattleboro Retreat, and others.
  • Exposures Cross-Cultural Youth Arts Program, a three-week summer intensive/spring and fall online exchange that brings together young people 15–21 from in- and outside the US who use photography to tell the stories that have helped shape their individual, community, and cultural perspectives.

In-Sight’s programs—including all required equipment and materials—are provided regardless of ability to pay. This is possible only because of the generosity of people in area communities as well as In-Sight alumni, photography lovers, and partnering organizations everywhere that value giving deserving young people choices for a life richly lived.

— Jerry Goldberg, Executive Director
In-Sight Photography Project

 

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