WHITEMARSH >> Several Plymouth Whitemarsh High School students have contributed photographs to Woodmere Art Museum’s 23rd annual Kids Care exhibit, and the local teens will be among the youths recognized during the Chestnut Hill art facility’s Dec. 10 Kids Care 23 reception.
Pieces from the show will be included as “presents for children and families in need” when Philadelphia-based MANNA delivers this year’s special holiday meals. MANNA was founded by members of Philadelphia’s First Presbyterian Church in 1990 to provide meals and serve as a support system for AIDS patients. Ten years ago, the organization expanded its outreach to victims of other critical illnesses — cancer, renal and cardiac disease and diabetes, for example — and, spokesmen say, currently provides 75,000 meals a month: “Three meals a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.”
PW student Maddy Fair donated her photo of a blooming tulip to the Kids Care-MANNA effort “because it reminds me of hope and new beginnings.”
“Looking at the photograph brings me happiness and a sense of tranquility, and I hope it will do the same for these families,” Fair says. “I feel very fulfilled and purposeful knowing that my artwork is going to a family that really deserves it.”
Adds classmate Sarah Manno, “Creating, but also beholding art is very cathartic for me. Art is like therapy for some people — like myself — which is why I thought it would be a great idea to share my photography with these families.”
Hildy Tow, Woodmere’s curator of education, describes the theme for 2016’s Kids Care exhibit as “community” — a tie-in to the museum’s Sept. 24 to Jan. 16 retrospective on the work of the late John W. Mosley, presented in partnership with the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries.
According to exhibit notes for the show, “John W. Mosley (1907-1969) was one of the premier photo-journalists of 20th century Philadelphia. He chronicled the vitality of the black community and life in the segregated city from the 1930s through the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.”
Woodmere staffers and members reasoned Mosley’s focus on community made it “a natural theme” for this year’s Kids Care-MANNA project.
“After 23 years, Kids Care is still very popular,” Tow says. “We had close to 1,000 [submissions] this year … including felt pillows and a collaborative quilt … from young artists who live throughout the Philadelphia region. After the show comes down on Dec. 19, about 30 volunteers will come in and wrap the artwork before it goes to MANNA and gets distributed to the different families and people confined to their homes with chronic illnesses.”
Iconic French street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson believed, “In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject.” PW student Courtney Copestick says she hopes her Kids Care photo contribution meets that standard.
“My photo is a surreal life image of the zipper on my backpack opening up to a sky,” Copestick says. “I took a picture of the zipper for an abstract photo shoot but wanted to make an image that was unique and would make people look. Being an amateur at photography, it is an honor to have one of my images gifted to someone who will appreciate it. I hope my work can put a smile on someone’s face and they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.”
Amanda Colton has similar aspirations for the photo she created as “part of my concentration development for my AP portfolio, which is reflections and the elements of design.”
“This is a bubble that I took in New York City,” she says. “It’s four pictures manipulated together into a kaleidoscope format.”
PW art students participate in area exhibits throughout the school year. Members of its National Art Honor Society also lend their talents to a multitude of community service events and fundraisers. NAHS’s 2016-17 induction is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in the high school’s newly renovated LGI space and will feature Julie Borowsky, an assistant photo editor at Billboard Magazine in New York, as alumni guest speaker.
PW’s yearly Alumni Art Show opening will follow the induction. All submissions must be framed and/or gallery-ready and delivered to the school by Dec. 16. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Woodmere’s Dec. 10 Kids Care reception in its Helen Millard Children’s Gallery is set for 1 to 3 p.m. and will also honor contributing PW exhibitors Samantha LaCoff, Kamiah Gray, Xavier Scharff, Kaia Shula, Alexa Lavanchy and Phoenix Spencer. The museum is located at 9201 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. Additional information is available at woodmereartmuseum.org.