The Claraty Arts Project teamed up with Courtney Bent, photographer and producer of the award winning documentary film, Shooting Beauty to put cameras into the hands of artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The result was amazing. The artists quickly embraced the new opportunity and shared photographs from their perspectives offering honest and often intimate insights into their interests and daily lives. What follows is an electronic exhibit of the photographs taken by the artists of the Claraty Arts Project during the two-day workshop.
“I learned that you can freehand pictures—it’s even okay for them to be blurry.” Mr. Redmond was capable of charming any stranger to be a part of his artwork while sharing his talent for composition and light.
“Oh, it’s okay.” Although Ms. Hackett declined to take any photographs, she loved the change of pace around the studio. She fed off of everyone’s excitement and added commentary to the critiques of people’s works.
Having never taken pictures independently before, Ms. Riches took over 500 during our two-day workshop. Ms. Riches said, “My favorite pictures were the ones I took of the sunset—it is one of the things that makes me happy, and catching it was exciting.” She plans on continuing to shoot imagery to accompany her poems.
Ms. Mallett loved getting out into the neighborhood with her camera, which was adapted so that she could use it independently. Her unique perspective utilized unusual angles providing a beautiful series of a day in her life. The words “It was cool!” barely made it through the ear to ear grin on her face upon mention of the workshop.
“Taking pictures was a challenge but I’m proud of myself for doing it. I would like to take pictures of animals in the future”. Ms. Meeks had never taken pictures before, and although the camera provided her with a challenge she pushed through. She remains willing to experiment with this new medium.
Ms. Shattuc shared incredible images of her home in Boulder Creek. “I liked taking pictures of my house, my room, my things.”
Mr. Scowcroft appreciated the big, red button which made it much easier to click the shutter button on his new camera. “I like taking pictures and really want to keep doing it!” The red button became quite the character in the photo story documenting a day in his life. He hopes to travel further to try his hand at landscape photography.
Although Ms. Williams, an abstract painter, is still unsure if photography is the right medium for her, she very much enjoyed documenting her friends and family in their everyday routines. When asked about her favorite subject matter, Ms. Williams answered with a resounding “BOWLING!”
“You can take pictures of anything and make it into art.” With a natural eye for composition and light, Ms. Dickenson captures the artistic detail in even the most mundane corners of the neighborhood.
“I thought it was a really good experience using the armature Courtney gave me to help with my shakes. I loved taking pictures of flowers and would love to travel to take pictures of other places. Maybe even the Eiffel Tower!” Ms. Oatey had been frustrated with the blurriness of her photographs as the camera captured her natural movement. The adapted camera helped Ms. Oatey take the photographs she had in her mind.
“I thought it was wonderful!” said Ms. Scheidecker of the workshop. “I want to take pictures of shadows, communities and buildings!” Ms. Scheidecker was already a master of her iPhone camera, but the new digital medium was a growing experience.
“I loved taking pictures in my house!” Ms. Blake’s photos provide insight into what she holds dear in her apartment and her daily routine.
Ms. Faulkner, who has had an interest in photography for quite some time, loved taking pictures at home and of animals on the wharf. “The camera made me feel good”, said Sarah of her time in the workshop.
“My favorite part was getting out into the neighborhood and taking pictures!” She looks forward to doing more nature photography as the new photography department moves forward.
“It was good”, said Mr. Mabert about his experience with the workshop. He enjoyed taking photographs of signs, and looks forward to taking more images of his home and neighborhood.