Through a Looking Glass: Perspective for Change

The South Bend Museum of Art’s Education department presents Through a Looking Glass: Perspective for Change, an educational exhibition created in partnership with the photography students at Clay High School, the visual and performing arts magnet high school in the South Bend Community School Corporation and in response to the exhibition, Our Strength is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine.

Our Community Gallery has been transformed into a replica of a darkroom that invites viewers to explore the space from a photographer’s perspective. Inside the darkroom, enlargers project images of people, places, and things that beg for social change to take place in our community. Photographs hang to dry and a photographer’s process of “painting with light” is explored as well. The exhibition exists as an education space for the South Bend Museum of Art’s American Series exhibition, “Our Strength is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine.”

Because Lewis Hine’s work was so instrumental in creating social change, specifically in regards to child labor laws, we worked with Clay High School photography teacher James (Jay) Love, to create this exhibition and educational experience. In the process of creating contemporary work for this exhibition, Mr. Love taught his class about the work of Lewis Hine, discussed social activism in photography, and offered opportunities to share their own ideas about fostering change in their communities. 

We hope this exhibition will serve to amplify the social voices from young people in our community right now, specifically the students at Clay High School – by reflecting on the social change and justice that can be created through the lens of photography today.

The South Bend Museum of Art’s education department is honored to have the opportunity to provide a platform that fosters agency for young voices in our community, through the creation of educational exhibitions and hands-on opportunities. We see this as an extension of the work we do with school programming, made possible by the strength in our partnership with the South Bend Community School Corporation. The exhibition opens November 6 and will be on view through January 2, 2022. The opening reception for this exhibition along with the exhibition, “Our Strength is Our People: The Humanist Photographs of Lewis Hine” will take place November 12th, 5:30PM-8PM.

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