New York Photo Community Welcomes My Viewpoint Students

Samanthaherrald
 Photographer Emily Schiffer, winner of the first Arnold Newman Prize for portraiture, has used her $15,000 fellowship to bring five of her students from the My Viewpoint Youth Photography program at the Dupree YMCA in Dupree, SD, on the Cheyenne River Reservation, on a 10-day tour of New York City’s photo community. In addition to visiting photographers’ studios, galleries and museums, the students will be hosting a silent auction  Thursday night at the VII Gallery in Brooklyn. The auction is expected to raise funds to support the My Viewpoint program and an exhibition of the students' work.  

Samantha Herrald, Demi Beautiful Bald Eagle, Jessie Carlson, Carlys High Bear, Karlisle High Bear and a parent, Dana Dupris, came to PDN today for pizza and conversation. Since arriving in New York on Thursday July 15, they’ve met with photographers Lorna Simpson, Brenda Ann Kenneally and Marvi Lacar, toured the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, used the darkroom at the International Center of Photography, met with a college counselor, and been interviewed by Brooklyn teenagers for The Local blog, which also published some of the images they’ve shot in New York this week.   

Before they return to Dupree on July 27th, Schiffer has also planned a visit to the Open Society Institute, a tour of Chinatown,  gallery visits and lots more time to photograph. 

Since Schiffer started teaching photography in Dupree five years ago, the program has caught the imagination of photographers everywhere, who have supported it by donating film, cameras, an enlarger and more.  Among the photographers who have contributed to the silent auction July 22 are Kenneally, Ben Lowy, Michael Itkoff, Wyatt Gallery, Victoria Sorochinski and others. 

Maybe professional photographers (and journalists and magazine editors) are so excited by My Viewpoint because they recognize that the students in Dupree, ages 6 to 19, have forged something unusual and coveted: a supportive group of peers who  share their ideas and feedback, both in the darkroom and while shooting. “You’re my photo community,” Schiffer told them.  

The silent auction will take place July 22 from 6 to 9pm at VII Gallery, 28 Jay Street 
Brooklyn, NY 11201. To place an advance bid on or preview prints, visit the Preview page on Schiffer’s web site.

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