Artist Residency

Hello, and happy Summer! I can't believe it's been two months since I last posted, and I'm happy to say it's because I have been so busy with photography that I haven't had a moment to write.

I am proud to say that I was hired at Artistic Noise as their Summer Artist in Residence/Teaching Artist.  I am working directly with court-involved youth to install an interactive installation at The Hunter University East Harlem Gallery, as part of the exhibit, “Visions of Confinement: A Lens on Women in the US Prison System.” We are using photography to explore how women experience prison, documenting the five senses of confinement (sight/sound/taste/smell/touch), and turning a feminist lens on our photography and issue-based workshops. 

It is a thrill and an honor to have been chosen for this important position. It is a also an incredible challenge, as the youth have dealt with some incredible hardship and trauma. We talk openly and honestly about their experience with the law, police, and being locked up. Their behavior is erratic and defiant, and teaching the importance of photography to this group is no easy feat. Prison does more damage than rehabilitation, particularly when minors are placed in adult facilities. To learn more about this, the NYTimes and ACLU have updated reports on the state of NYC youth in lock up.

Despite these challenges, they have produced some truly moving photography and brave writing pieces that speak to what they experienced in their own time in confinement. We have three weeks left of our time together, and I look forward to seeing their final product. To see the evolving exhibit, visit The Hunter College East Harlem Gallery on 119th and 3rd Avenue, 12-5PM.

Erica Reade