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Venice Arts Student Photography Exhibit Takes a Closer Look at the Homeless Issue in Merced

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at 5:31PM

We are excited that Downtown Life Magazine ran a feature on our exhibit of work by students in the Venice Arts Documentary Photography program in Merced. Opening tonight with a reception from 5 to 7 and on view through July 6th, the exhibit highlights recent student work tackling a difficult health issue. Seeing more and more homeless on the streets of Merced, the seven students voted as a class to take a closer look using their cameras.

By documenting the Merced Rescue Mission and the "D" Street Shelter, they created wonderful portraits of people, some down on their luck, some just needing a hot meal. The student photographs in “It's Not All Peaches and Cream Out There...” humanize a sometime marginalized segment of our society. The title for the exhibit is an excerpt from a quote by a woman at the Merced Rescue Mission who found herself homeless when she was 60 years old but has since found an apartment.
“When these Golden Valley High School students approached folks waiting for a meal at the Rescue Mission, waiting for a doctor at the Mobile Medical Clinic, Golden Valley Health Center or for a bed at the “D” Street shelter," said Roger Wyan, Lead Photographer for the documentary photo class, “something amazing happened.”

“The students explained they wanted to bring attention to homeless and other health issues. This broke down doors. While not everyone they photographed was homeless, people agreed to be photographed saying if their picture could help in any way then okay. Their generosity of spirit was remarkable, even during a difficult stage of their lives,” Wyan explained.

This two-year project in Merced is funded by the California Endowment through their Building Healthy Communities initiative, which seeks to bring policy and system changes to improve the health of 14 targeted communities in California.

Check out the article in Downtown Life Magazine here.

Venice Arts will be running additional photography classes in Merced this summer. Interested teens can enroll by contacting Email Me at 209.720.4834. Classes will take place June 18–June 29 or July 9–July 20, Monday–Friday, 9:30am12:00pm



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