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Photo II: Northampton Photography Exhibition

Students enrolled in Photo II have their work on display in the Lee Roberts ’74 Gallery located in Suffield Academy’s Tremaine Art Center. The Northampton Photography Exhibition opened on November 11 and will remain on view until November 22. Highlighting the street art documentary series that they shot in October, this marks the fifth year students found inspiration in Northampton, Massachusetts. Photo II students have been on this excursion twice before and spent their time shooting both film and digital photography. Students featured in the exhibition include Julia Laquerre ’21, Sophie Pirondini ’21, Nate Schoen ’22, Max Blohm Villanueva ’21, and Rori Zwirko ’21. Below are excerpts copied from their artist statements:

Max Blohm Villanueva “These street interviews directly inspired the pictures I shot. Color was one of the main things I focused on when taking pictures in Northampton. The city is very colorful and has a very bright tone. I took a new approach this year and shot digitally. When editing, I decided to turn some photos into black and white because I wanted the viewer to focus on lighting rather than color.”

Rori Zwirko “To me, graffiti is another way to express feelings or tell a story. This artform is not necessarily limited to imagery, but can also involve words. So, rather than taking photos of the people in Northampton, I decided to capture Northampton street art. I was also drawn to all the brightly colored aspects of the city. I have always been impressed with street art and find it very fascinating.”

Julia Laquerr “The culture of Northampton radiates in every person, store, and corner. I was inspired by the town’s bustling life and activity. I wanted my images to embody the energy and unique stories of Northampton. After taking pictures of people and having conversations with them, these interviews gave me a deeper understanding of the town and what makes up its culture. I tried to capture individual stories through my portraits of this place and its people.”

Nate Schoen “I aimed to capture the everyday life of Northampton. Although I went into this project wanting to focus more on portraits, I wandered around this fun and lively city and found more to enjoy about it. While I shot these images digitally and in color, I felt that these compositions were best described through black and white. Presented in black and white, the images become more about detail and composition.” 

Sophie Pirondini “Northampton is a small town known for its academics and arts and deviation from mainstream society. I was motivated to take pictures of its historical and beautiful architecture. The color photos were taken with a digital camera, while the black and white photos were taken on a medium format camera. In some of my photos, I decided to only incorporate a portion of the building to focus on specific elements of architecture instead of the building as a whole.”
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