PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- A new exhibit at the Field Library Gallery in Peekskill is looking to deconstruct the selfie.
The Field Gallery is opening "Inside/Out: Teen Portrait Identity" on Thursday. The show features photographs by Peekskill kids, who were taught portrait photography. The teens were then broken up into small groups, where they turned the lens on each other.
"How do inner-city youth see their friends, allies, strangers, neighbors, a frenemy?" Gallery Curator Alicia Morgan asked. "These young artists had an invaluable opportunity to express themselves in a way they never had in recent times: a chance to connect by looking beyond preconceived notions of self."
Morgan had the idea after the library received iPads and she wanted kids at the library to embrace the new technology.
"Stop taking pictures of yourself and take pictures of others," Morgan said.
Morgan said the kids got really into the exercise and that this show will spotlight the Peekskill artistic community. The kids in the show ranged from 9 to 16.
"I was really blown away," Morgan said. "I wanted to do a show with young people to see what kind of art they could do and get them involved."
Morgan was helped out by teen librarian Liz Anastasi in coordinating the program.
"She is amazing," Morgan said. "She knows them really well and gets the kids involved with the gallery."
The kids learned how to express themselves and learned about patience, Morgan said.
"When you take pictures of other people, it's looking outside of yourself, Morgan said. "You're looking at someone else through your eyes. It's not so self involved."
The pairs took different approaches to the project. One group ran around and took more than 200 photos, while another group took only 10.
Morgan hopes people see the show and appreciate what Peekskill's artists have to offer.
"We have a thriving artists community of people born and raised in Peekskill," Morgan said. "People will be blown away by the talent in this show. The youth of Peekskill is doing great things. I am very proud of the kids and the time and effort they put into this."
The Field Gallery is located in the Field Library at 4 Nelson Ave. For more information call 914-737-1212, or e-mail Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the library's website at www.peekskill.org .
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