The Portrait Project Exhibition
…becoming detectives of our own lives.
Inspired by what we have learned from the young people we have met through our previous work, we are, with great excitement and enthusiasm, developing our new project.
We are beginning this in New York City with participants from the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF). Using photography and text – the project is designed to be a living and growing Exhibition that allows young people in a variety of locations with different medical conditions to connect with each other and to tell different aspects of their personal stories to themselves, each other and the larger world.
We use this phrase as one of our participants has said that the project allows him and the others in our group to create a portrait by becoming “detectives of their own lives” – discovering who they are – including but also beyond their diagnosis. Photo assignments such as: Self Portrait, What Matters Most, What Inspires Me, allow participants to develop a portrait of who they are and who they would like to be, and work they would like to do. We have Portrait Project friends who share with us about the roads they have taken in becoming who they are – photographers, artists, bakers, disc jockeys – the list happily continues to grow.
A Living Exhibition
We use the phrase “Living Exhibition” to reflect both that the show is not static, as the young people at the different sites will add on to the work (through image and text), and perhaps equally importantly that it reflects the eagerness and interest that the young people we work with have about engaging in life.
The young people are assisting us in developing and designing an exhibition that will:
- • Creatively connect, encourage and engage other young people who are also facing challenges,
- • Engagingly “speak” to the larger community and general public to educate them in what it means to be a young person dealing with a “diagnosis”, and,
- • Result in an annual culminating event/exhibition of the entire project in one location.
The exhibition will feature sections with different themes, i.e., Self Portrait, Who I Am, What Matters Most, What Inspires Me, etc., will be displayed and Exhibition staff will be present to introduce the project and explain how to get involved and add to and join the project in one or more of its sections.