The city skyline seen through a haze of mist. A sneaker with a light dusting of snow. A leaf shot through with sunlight.
The black-and-white photos hanging in the L space Gallery at Humber’s Lakeshore Campus are as unique as the community they record – and just as diverse.
The exhibit at L space showcases the work of 15 youth, aged 14-19, who are part of the photography group at the South Etobicoke Youth Assembly (SEYA).
As part of the Ontario Arts Council-sponsored project, each participant took a series of black-and-white photographs using a conventional film camera, and developed the prints in a darkroom.
The subject for the SEYA photographers was South Etobicoke, an urban area southwest of Toronto whose streets and buildings reflect its changing character as a one-time summer resort, industrial hub, and working-class village.
“The youth are discovering their creative and personal identities and community in more diverse ways of self-expression,” says program coordinator Salomeh Ahmadi. “I’m excited to showcase their work with such an amazing local community partner.”
Part of L space’s mandate is to work with local arts organizations, so for Humber, collaborating with SEYA was an obvious choice.
“Working with an organization like SEYA is such a great fit for us,” says L Space’s curator Ashley Watson. “There’s a fantastic connection between what the youth are doing and the professional skills enhancement we believe in at Humber.”
And for the young photographers, seeing their work displayed in a gallery gives them inspiration to keep creating.
“The feeling I get from having my pictures in a gallery not only excites me, but makes me strive to become a better photographer,” says Felix, aged 14.” Having this be my first gallery [show] I can only expect things to go up from here.”