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Vantage Point 24: Celebrating 20 Years at ICP at THE POINT

Art Scene

Vantage Point 24: Celebrating 20 Years at ICP at THE POINT

ICP at THE POINT, a community-based partnership between THE POINT Community Development Corporation in the South Bronx and the world-renowned International Center of Photography, is a formidable example of cross-sector partnerships that successfully impact local communities, as well as the evolution of public discourse. A showcase of nearly 50 photographs made by alumni and students who have participated in the project’s photography programming, Vantage Point 24: Celebrating 20 Years is a testament to two decades of camaraderie and commitment amongst staff, community members and students. Of note is the program’s 25,000-image archive. It is an important collection that includes possibly the most documentary photographs ever compiled of the surrounding community.

Untitled, Boris Cortes, Jr. (student)

In terms of painting a more robust picture of the South Bronx—one beyond poverty, crime, poor schools, and substandard housing—“Owning the narrative is important to us. As a community there is a narrative. You create this narrative. You own this narrative. This is a way of reclaiming it,” said Danny Peralta, Executive Managing Director of THE POINT. To that end, the exhibition presents portraits of community members, nature, the arts, contemplative moments, block parties and local businesses, offering a graceful insider’s point of view.

Beauty Salon III, Misra Walker (alum)

While ICP at THE POINT’s focus is photography, it also acts as a gateway to career development and other fields in the arts through THE POINT’s programs in theater, dance, urban farming and more. A stunning color portrait by dancer and photographer Miguel Anaya captures the bare-skinned back, turned head and direct gaze of a sitter bathed in a cool, soft light with blue undertones. Anaya’s choice of illumination sets up an elegant interaction between a black ink tattoo of Japan on the sitter’s right shoulder, a chiseled cheekbone, and a black-feathered headdress that poetically speak to a narrative of origins. Anaya’s attentive eye seems to reveal a dancer’s awareness of the body. For another take on portraiture, the work of Misra Walker embraces a performance based photographic style through her series called Beauty Salon. Also included in the exhibition is alum Roy Baizan, who has moved on to a blossoming career as a documentarian with work featured in the New York Times, including a 2018 feature story, Punk Music, Bronx Style.

Untitled, Destiny Garcia (student)

THE POINT’s classroom/studio, black-and-white darkroom facility and gallery space located in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx trains preteens and teens in 10-week sessions throughout the school year and 5-week intensives in the summer. Students from across NY and NJ all clamor to participate in a varied curriculum. Throughout the building’s central interior space student work can be found, including a recent workshop on botany and camera-less photography.

Community House, Joselyn DeJesus (alum)

In regard to the current exhibition, Lacy Austin, ICP’s Director of Community Programs and a driving force behind the partnership said, “While here, young imagemakers learn the craft, strengthen their voices, and have access to a space to present their work. And now, this exhibition offers a powerful commemoration of this important two-decade milestone. What a meaningful way to look back on the many lives impacted and all that’s been accomplished with this program, while also cultivating more hope for a brighter future.”

Vantage Point 24: Celebrating 20 Years is on view through December 31, 2018 at ICP at THE POINT.