Seeing your potential through digital media

PAL Project

Photography and Literacy Project (PAL Project) is an innovative program positioned under Syracuse University's Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC), that brings SU students into Syracuse City Schools to develop projects involving photography, video, audio recording and writing. The objective is to improve student’s writing and reading skills by linking these studies with photography, video and poetry. Using “Visual Thinking Strategies,” PAL Project also improves student’s critical thinking and media literacy skills. PAL Project provides students with an opportunity for expression through both a visual and narrative connection by linking the forms of digital media and writing. In connecting image making with writing and critical thinking, PAL Project promotes an expansive use of digital media and creative writing across curricula and disciplines. PAL Project truly defines the meaning of Scholarship in Action. It exemplifies collaboration among university departments including Light Work, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Education, and the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers. Through PAL these University departments in turn collaborate with the Syracuse City School District to work with teachers and students on a sustained basis to teach them 21st century life skills.

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14 young students displayed their artwork at SU Link Gallery

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The Link Gallery at Syracuse University’s Warehouse recently displayed the artistic work and creativity of 14 young people who had been enrolled in a summer program at the Southwest Community Center. Equipped with cameras, armed with Photoshop techniques and determined to write about their experiences, the adolescents had worked with Syracuse University faculty to create their art.

“This program teaches them to be creative at a young age,” said Halston Canty, who works with young people at the center. The work, he added, also helps them “just tap into skills they might not have believed that they had, which is very important. If they can sit here and put this stuff together, they can think about the life skills they are going to need: ‘I can start driving,’ ‘I can read this book,’ ‘I can go to college,’ ‘I can do anything.’”

Anthony Kirkman describes his piece, inspired by an exercise: “I seem to be, but I really am ...”

Anthony Kirkman describes his piece, inspired by an exercise: “I seem to be, but I really am …”

Work shown at the gallery event in September included self-portraits, poems and graffiti images. Eight-year-old Anthony Kirkman created a piece so vivid that the gallery used it as advertising for the event. Anthony said he had to stop and do a double take when he picked up the flier for the first time.

This summer’s Journey to Manhood Program at the Southwest Community Center ended with the art exhibi- tion “Just Never Give Up” at The Link Gallery and centered on young men from an economically disadvantaged community.

In an exercise — “I seem to be, but I really am” — students picked generalizations or stereotypes people have associated with them. Then, on the final line, they said who they really are, who they see themselves to be and what their interests are in life.

“I duplicated myself three times, plus my writing,” Anthony said. “It’s about what I seem to be and what I really am. I seem to be mean but really I am nice.” Anthony’s second piece makes a call to his community: “Love me and stop the violence.”

Phil Haddix, co-facilitator of the Photo and Literacy (PAL) Project summer session, talked about the variety of communication options the students can use to express themselves: “The recipe is looking at different ways to engage students to increase literacy,” Haddix said.

Canty, who is also the youth specialist for the Journey to Manhood Program, stressed that the program aims to shape the boys into positive pillars in their communities.

“We work with them, help them with development skills, coping skills,” Canty said. “Allowing them to step outside of their neighborhood, step outside of the box a little bit, see things that are different besides just wanting to be a basketball or football player.”

Nonetheless, the common thread of sports icons seemed to stream through the artwork as inspiration. Juelz Jackson, 11, talked about how his art was influenced by his role model, NBA player Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. “I like Steph Curry,” Juelz said. “I think he’d like my art.”

Stephen Mahan, director of photography and literacy projects, taught the program’s class at The Warehouse over the summer. It is similar to classes he teaches at SU. Students of his, many of whom are enrolled in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, work with the school-age youth to enhance their media skills.

“The idea being if you can take a picture of it, then it’s easier to write about it,” Mahan said. “It’s a whole other story-telling device rather than words.”

Mahan found it an easy task to get the kids engaged in the new forms of digital expression. “They’re so digital savvy, the kids,” he said. “You show them once and ten minutes later, they’re showing you a better way to do it.”

Canty agreed: “It’s a little bit of a challenge,” he said. “But if you … speak to them positively, you give them the right advice, and you show them how they can be a leader, how this can change your life, change your neighborhood … sky’s the limit.”

Although the summer class has ended, Mahan continues to work with youth from the community during the academic year, with participation from students in his Literacy, Community and Media classes.

Haddix said there’s no better environment to spark the creative talents of the youth. “A lot of African-Americans who do not see SU as an accessible building for them, we’re bringing them dead center,” he said.— Story and photos by Riley Bunch, Urban Affairs reporter

PAL Project Portrait Day at PEACE Inc.

The Link Gallery at the Warehouse

presents

Syracuse University’s

PAL Project collaboration with 

PEACE Inc. West Side

October 10th through November 21st

Closing Reception: Thursday, November 17th, 4:30-6:00pm

Location:  Nancy Cantor Warehouse, 350 West Fayette Street

Smile…or Not

21x21d

SPECIAL THANKS:

Syracuse University

Central New York Community Foundation

The Fay Slover Fund at The Boston Foundation

PEACE Inc. West Side

Joy of Giving Something, Inc.

The Reisman Foundation

The Gifford Foundation

Connective Corridor

Coalition of Museum and Art Centers

The College of Visual and Performing Arts

SUArt Gallery

Mary Alice Smothers

PAL Project Portrait Day at PEACE Inc.

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PAL Project spent several days working with the kids from Mary Alice Smother’s PEACE West Side Summer Program learning about the art of self expression and portraiture.

Summer Workshop with P.E.A.C.E. Inc.

Great summer workshop with the kids from P.E.A.C.E Inc. West Side

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PAL Project spent several days working with the kids from Mary Alice Smother’s PEACE West Side Summer Program learning about the art of self expression and storytelling through the art of photography and photo manipulation.

Just Never Give Up

The Link Gallery at the Warehouse

presents

Syracuse University’s

PAL Project collaboration with 

South West Community Center

Public Reception: Thursday, September 15th, 4:30-6:00pm

Location:  Nancy Cantor Warehouse, 350 West Fayette Street

Just Never Give Up

just-never-give-up

SPECIAL THANKS:

Syracuse University

Central New York Community Foundation

The Fay Slover Fund at The Boston Foundation

South West Community Center

Joy of Giving Something, Inc.

The Reisman Foundation

The Gifford Foundation

Connective Corridor

Coalition of Museum and Art Centers

The College of Visual and Performing Arts

SUArt Gallery

PAL Project Helping SCSD Students

SCSD News

“I don’t want to be ignorant/ I want to be a scholar/ I am from education.”

Thanks to a partnership with Syracuse University, SCSD students at Ed Smith, ITC and Fowler are learning about poetry, photography and art through the Photography and Literacy (PAL) Project.

This year, Ed Smith sixth graders focused their work around the theme “This is where I’m from.” They started by completing writing prompts describing their room, then branched out to their home, their neighborhood and their community. Stories varied from the serious to the humorous and beyond.

“I wrote about where I’m from and what I go through in my everyday life,” Kye Sinclair explained. “I wrote about bobby pins because my sisters are always doing their hair!”

Over a 10-week period, students work with journals and digital cameras to learn storytelling techniques and media skills, learning about themselves in the process. At the end of the program, students select their favorite written piece and photograph to combine into one final image, which is framed and displayed at a reception at the Link Gallery at the Warehouse.

“Having my art on display makes me feel like there was a purpose to my project,” Jabari Diggs explained. “With the PAL Project, we got to know SU students and we saw the similarities and differences between all of us. It was fun to experiment with taking pictures and to find one that brought out the character of where I’m from.”

Students even studied the work of the late street photographer Helen Levitt, whose work is being celebrated in an exhibition at The Everson Museum of Art through May. In response to Levitt’s photographs, four students had their photos submitted to be on display alongside the exhibition.

Ed Smith Art Teacher Mary Lynn Mahan said the PAL Project has been a great way for students to discover more about themselves and each other.

“The best person to tell your story is you,” she explained. “The PAL Project allows students to tell their own story. Sometimes, it’s so raw that they have trouble at first. But the more you work with them, the more authentic that story becomes.”

For students, the opportunity to work with college students who taught them about cameras, editing software and other technology was an exciting experience.

“This was a really cool project,” Martine Dosa said. “In elementary school, we just did drawings and things like that. But for this, the SU students showed us what editing options there were and we learned how to do them. It was great to have their help!”

 

– See more at: http://www.syracusecityschools.com/districtpage.cfm?pageid=4263#sthash.qdXLmO57.dpuf

PAL Project / Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central High School

           The Frustration of our GenerationQuentin PhotoFinal copy

The Link Gallery at the Warehouse presents Syracuse University’s

PAL Project collaboration with 

Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central High School

Public Reception: Thursday, Feb. 4th, 5:00-6:30pm

Location:  Nancy Cantor Warehouse, 350 West Fayette Street

The Frustration of our Generation

SPECIAL THANKS:

Syracuse University

Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central High School

The Fay Solver Fund at The Boston Foundation

Joy of Giving Something, Inc.

The Reisman Foundation

The Gifford Foundation

Connective Corridor

Coalition of Museum and Art Centers

The College of Visual and Performing Arts

SUArt Gallery

Syracuse City School District

Syracuse University Mentors

The Way I See It

Syracuse University’s PAL Project @ Everson Museum of Art

Kamet3February 6 – May 8, 2016

PAL Project in collaboration with Edward Smith School and South West Community Center is honored to be a part of the

Everson Museum’s new winter exhibitions:

Helen Levitt: In the Street

and their new winter exhibitions

From Paris to Syracuse: Street Photography from the Collections of the Everson and Light Work;

Saya Woolfalk: Chima Cloud;

Majestic Mountain/Shining Sea;

The Way I See It

The Way I See It

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The Way I See” is a selection of photographs by Syracuse City School students in response to the “street photography” of Helen Levitt and other contemporary photographers. Working in collaboration with Syracuse University’s Photography and Literacy Project (PAL Project), students from Edward Smith School, South West Community Center and Institute of Technology at Central were given cameras for an eight-week period and asked to document their world. Meeting with the SU mentors’ weekly, students would view and discuss the work of Levitt and contemporary photographers, edit their photographs and discuss some of the elements of picture making, such as: focus, framing, time, composition, and point of view. More importantly, the students were made aware that the camera can be a tool to tell a story and give a voice—a voice that deserves to be heard.

Gallery

The Way I See It