Portraits & Stories Exhibition

Curatorial Statement

Portraits are a statement about life. The images in Portraits and Stories weave together stories of individual lives. Central is the story of youth as told by young people and the adults around them. A group of middle school students tell their stories through images they have selected. Arrayed around these are images by artists and photographers who have chosen to tell stories of other lives, moments in time that they have had the privilege of capturing. Together the images reflect the ebb and flow of life and assert life as it is being lived.

Originating in privilege, portraiture that was once associated with status has had to evolve. Today the human subject sees the self, presses a button and has the choice to erase the image, embellish it with filters, fix it as they please, all in real time. Technology has snatched away the semblance of importance that once was the privilege of a few and bestowed it on the many. We have the freedom to define our lives and give others permission to define it. This is evident in the works in this exhibit, where the fragility of youth, the aspirational self, the playful self, a range of individuals and emotions are on view. We see hints of joy and laughter, shadows of ambitions and achievements, loneliness, grief and the passage of time literally and metaphorically.

As in the images on view, so in the persons photographing we see the diversity of artist photographers. This points to a future in which art-making, once the privilege of a few, becomes accessible to many. Together, these students and professional artist photographers present a fresh perspective on the individual self. This way of bringing together young and seasoned artists in the gallery breaks down barriers, rendering the gallery a democratic community space. Here we come together to celebrate life.

Krina Patel
May, 2019