Surreal doesn't come close to the feelings and thoughts I experienced while walking into The Art Directors Club in New York City for the Young Photographer's Alliance (YPA) "Boundaries" gallery. Seeing my work hanging along other photographers' work from around the world is indescribable.
Early on the morning of February 24, I traveled with my mom and sister from Pittsburgh to New York on a bus to celebrate my sister's birthday, and to see my work completed through the Mentorship Program in Pittsburgh from this past summer, sponsored by the YPA. As a conclusion to the Mentorship Program, following our required PR event, as we chose to hold a gallery at Studio 3702 in Lawrenceville of Pittsburgh, this event was quite an honor. The gallery was held by The Art Directors Club, which is a huge space and perfect for the event.
Being completely exhausted from the long bus trip, bearing the negative temperatures, and navigating New York, it added to the shock factor of everything to take in, as I walked through the doors. Mentors, mentees, Art Directors, and New Yorkers walked through the space the entire evening while reading and viewing everyone's projects. There are a few things that I learned, or rather were reinforced when at the gallery.
1. Be a part of the photographic community. Whether it be brainstorming with others, asking what their opinion is about a body of work, talking about business, or complimenting their work, be active and be in it. Go to events and exhibitions, and learn what is happening in the art world, what is trending, and where our inspiration comes from.
2. Take the time to look into other's work. Don't hide behind your artwork and wait for professionals to come to you. Seek out other's work that inspires or challenges you, and know why it does so. Study those that came before you and what led to the photographic industry now.
3. Network always. A simple concept, but one of the greatest pieces of advice. Make connections, not just for your benefit, but to help each other grow and spread ideas.
4. Get out there! Become known to those in your community and your audience. YOU have to make the first step and take initiative to show your work.
Thank you to the volunteers and leaders of YPA for putting this program together. Thank you to those a part of The Art Directors Club for letting us display our work. Thank you to my Pittsburgh mentors Jon Lisbon, Brian Kaldorf, Laura Petrilla, and Jenn Saffron, and my fellow Pittsburgh mentees Allaire Bartel and Mariah Wild for pushing every one of us through the program. Thank you to my mom for getting me to New York to experience the show. And thank you to everyone who served and attended the Young Photographers Alliance "Boundaries" Gallery in New York City.
Live by faith & share through fotos.