JSRHS Students Work with NH Institute of Art to Create Large-Scale Photo Installation

PHOTO CREDIT:  Cal Loos JSRHS Class of 2016

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PHOTO CREDIT FOR ALL EXHIBIT PHOTOS:  Gary Samson and Eli Tyrell-Walker, Class of 2016

Joint Project by Student Amnesty International Chapter and Photo Club

Ten large scale (4’x7’) portraits created through the collaboration of John Stark Regional High School’s Chapter of Amnesty International and Photography Club has been installed in the Atrium at John Stark. The project came after students watched a TED Talk by artist and human rights advocate JR and his Inside Out Project. JSRHS students worked with International Portrait Photographer and Chairperson of the Photography Department Gary Samson at the New Hampshire Institute of Art to create and print the photographs.

“We wanted our photographs to reflect John Stark as a community of individuals who come together to support one another,” said JSRHS senior and Amnesty International Chapter President Eli Tyrell-Walker. “We particularly wanted to demonstrate that despite being individually unique, each one of us has the same basic rights,” he continued.  To illustrate this point, each of the ten randomly selected students chose one of the 30 human rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and wrote essays about why it was important to them as an individual.  
Students then worked with Gary Samson at NHIA in the photo studio to create each student portrait. During this photo session, they reflected upon their chosen human right while their portrait was captured. “After an immense amount of hard work, it felt great to finally see our installation go up in the school, said student Eli Tyrell-Walker.  “It seemed to immediately grab students' attention, seeing their classmates' photos displayed so large.

Through this project everyone involved hopes that viewers come away with an increased understanding of human rights.  The art images and essays should spark conversation and generate questions.  The project was made possible by funding from a grant awarded through Amnesty International’s Initiate Fund. The grant was written by JSRHS Visual Arts teachers Erin Smart and Tracy Travers.

“We could not have completed a project of this magnitude without the support of the John Stark community, New Hampshire Institute of Art Photography Department, Gary Sampson, and Amnesty International,” said JSRHS educators Erin Smart and Tracy Travers.  The project took four months to complete.

John Stark Students who participated in the project include:  Eli Tyrell-Walker, Kasey Arnold, Tristan Cole, Caylee Green, and Hunter Ventiere, Joe Lagasse, Elizabeth Drake, Kiersten Tower, Hannon Meehan, and Quianna Willard.