Latin School of Chicago


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The Cover Photo: Latin and Beyond Andy Colman '16 5Anna Wolf '19 Project Week: Uptown Photography '16 6Hunter Morgan '17 Making a photograph is an opportunity to capture or create an experience. Each photo re- cords a moment, light and composition. Photography is about what you do, how you think, and how you perceive what you see your world. The best photographs also capture a story. The fif- teenth edition of VIDI Magazine includes photographs taken during our weeklong Uptown Pho- tography Project Week. Our goals were to learn more about Street Photography and to make environmental portraits of people who live and work in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. Each student would respond to what they discovered through the lens. I wanted our students to learn more about photojournalism and how to interview and interact with the strangers they would meet. I started searching to learn more about portrait photography in Uptown and stumbled upon the insightful photography of Bob Rehak. In the 1970's he took over 5,000 photographs in Uptown and in 2013 he created a wonderful book of his photographs. Upon reading his book I shared it with our Head of School, Randall Dunn and he encouraged me to engage with Bob who currently lives near Houston, Texas. When I realized where Bob now lived it reminded me of a previous Project Week to Houston to document the Houston Rodeo and attend FotoFest, an international Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art. While at FotoFest I learned more about Literacy Through Photography (LTP) a teaching philosophy and methodology that encour- ages youth to explore their world as they photograph scenes from their own lives and to use their images as catalysts for verbal and written expression. The thought of connecting picture making with writing and critical thinking seemed to me to be an ideal way to enhance our Latin School's partnership with schools in Uptown. Through the support of Sarah Bunger we reached out to Goudy School's technology teacher, Michelle Casey to involve her middle school students in our photojournalism project. Upon my request, Randall Dunn supported Sarah Bunger and me to attend the LTP Teacher Training in Houston while also meeting up with Bob Rehak to create plans for skyping with Bob with our Project Week group and bringing him to Chicago to showcase his photography and introduce our project with our community at the Chicago His- tory Museum with Tribune Critic Rick Kogan on May 9th. While Bob was at Latin he spoke to the Upper School and helped help us critique the work of our project week group for our an up and coming exhibition of the work of our students at City Hall. By learning to look critically at photographs students deepened their understanding of the power of photography to analyze the emotion and mood evoked in a picture as well as what innately makes a strong photo- graph. Each student in our project created their own blog to document their experience and to write about their best photographs. At Bob's suggestion our students used model releases and learned how to engage with people about the goals of our project. During our week in Uptown we distributed over 800 postcards explaining our project and partnered directly with 8 differ- ent social service agencies in Uptown. I am very grateful to Milena Sjekloca, History teacher and Sarah Joyce, Technology Assistant at Latin who partnered with me on this project. Together with our students we ate our lunches at wonderful restaurants in Uptown and engaged as with as many people as we could. We also created a public website where you can learn more about our project and the stories behind these photographs at I hope that you will get a chance to stop in City Hall to see this exhibit starting with a reception on June 3, 2016. Teaching and working with students via photography is such a joy and a gift. As I guide them through technical, conceptual and historic aspects of exploring life with a camera they gain a deeper sense of themselves and their world. I hope you will enjoy their photographs in this magazine as much as I do. Betty Lark Ross Photography Instructor and Visual Arts Department Chair 68213_VIDI_2016_r2.indd 2 5/20/16 9:16 AM

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