Young Valley photographers showcased in Cummington show
By LAURA RODLEY Gazette Contributing Writer. Wednesday, January 9, 2013 (Published in print: Thursday, January 10, 2013)
Fourteen-year-old Natalie Robinson of Ware has a photograph of girls lying in a pile of leaves exhibited in “Places we Live, Play and Learn: Narratives of Life by Western Ma Youth Photographers,” a photography show at the Cummington Community House running through January.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NATALIE ROBINSON
Sunsets, a bird’s-eye view of Easthampton, students lying in a leaf pile snapping pictures of the sky, and cats are some of the images photographed by children ages 8 to 18 that are in the show “Places We Live, Play and Learn: Narratives of Life by Western Massachusetts Youth Photographers” at the Cummington Community House.
“It looks great up. I’m very happy,” said Sienna Wildfield, who organized the exhibit. Wildfield is executive director of Hilltown Families, an online family activity reference website. The show includes narratives written by each of the 20 photographers, who share “their view of life and the place they live,” Wildfield said. Those places include communities from Cummington to Easthampton to Ware.
There are also photographs by seven girls from a youth identity-building program called Youth Action Coalition, GirlsEyeView Ware, which is taught by Miriam Shafer. One girl in GirlsEyeView, Natalie Robinson, 14, writes this about her hometown, Ware: “My community, at first glance, isn’t the greatest of things. It seems small and shabby and there’s lots of room for improvement. And although that may be true, there are also the little things about it that make it one of the best places, out of many, that I’ve ever lived.”
One of Robinson’s photos won honorable mention in a juried adult show at Freedom Trail Gallery at Valley Frameworks in Amherst in November.
Chesterfield native Persephone Sarantidis, 10, is exhibiting a photo of a small waterfall on Chesterfield’s Stevenson Brook that she dubbed “Niagara Falls Jr.” when she was 5. She visits there when she’s “sad, happy or just bored,” she writes in the narrative that accompanies her photo. “Though small, Jr. has a very strong current.”
Nekysha Carter, 13, captured a bird’s-eye view of her hometown, Easthampton, while standing on Mount Tom on a brisk, cold day.
Fifteen-year-old Brenda Casko-Thews of Northampton experienced how a photography mistake can become a treasure: Trees in her picture of Pulaski Park in Northampton, taken one April night, unexpectedly came out orange, but that turns out to be the main reason she enjoys her picture. Viewers will likely be drawn to the image’s orange glow for that reason too.
The show will run through January at the Community House at 33 Main St.