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Words from an Intern, In Focus: Photo Camp 2012 Part II

August 3, 2012

After a weekend break it was time to ease the students back into the daily grind. Stretching our legs over to the French Quarter, the students continued to study by way of street photography. Still keeping in mind the elements already learned, they were introduced to utilizing aperture and shutter speeds. Exploring these concepts to reach a desired outcome was a highlight of the day.

The next morning opened with a presentation of influential portrait photographers in relation to their homework. Talking about the work of Annie Leibovitz , Diane Arbus, and Cindy Sherman,  the young photographers were ready to set out to our next destination: Audubon Park.  The students worked in pairs trying to capture the others’ personality. As teenagers do, much fun was also to be had with swings and playthings amidst!

Having collected a nice library of images, the learning artists submitted their best sample of photographs to put up for critique. The students took time to review their fellow contemporaries’ works in hopes to aid in decisions of final pieces to be presented in the upcoming exhibition.

We took a day to explore the personalities and moments that shaped the young photographers. Searching through the nearby streets, they discovered creative ways to portray themselves through Self-Portraiture. They learned much about the importance of doing what you can to get the shot you desire. The products were surprising, whimsical, and even a little thought provoking.

Our time together came to a close with one last field trip to the Gallery of Fine Photography. Back at the Ogden, they made their final selections and decided which pieces would be showcased in the exhibition. To see what images make the wall, join us for White Linen Night at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Saturday August 4, 6-9pm.

Hope to see you there!

Samantha Spahr, Summer Intern, University of Louisiana at Lafayette


Words from an Intern, In Focus: Photo Camp 2012 Part I

August 3, 2012

The Ogden Museum was thrilled to welcome the last camp of the summer sessions, Photography. Our thirteen young artists began the week with a perusal through a photographic library of sorts. After discussing the books and images, it was straight to the lens. We took them on a photographic scavenger hunt in a nearby park, looking for moods, compositions, or items on the list. Capturing these objects with their cameras was a great way to explore the machine itself and how we see the world. The students also gained a chance to experiment with an alternative photographic process by making sun prints. They were able to make these prints using objects gathered during the scavenger hunt.

During the first week, our fresh photogs studied the works of essential photographers to grasp ideas such as emotion and the way light can change an image. We then set out to a local cemetery, cameras in hand, to further delve into these ideas. The students became very aware of not only the dynamics of light, but they became interested in texture as well. They enjoyed discovering the juxtapositions between new and old, or organic and man-made.

Critiques became a staple for our group. Talking about the different aspects of their peers’ images in regards to what worked or lacked was an important way to grow themselves in their own work.  So before we let them off for the weekend, they couldn’t get away without an assignment: Think about the most important or significant moment in your life thus far and how you would represent that in an image. Creative solutions are sure to come!

Samantha Spahr, Summer Intern, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Words from an Intern: Fashion Camp 2012 Inside the Studio

August 1, 2012

Two weeks ago the Ogden Museum of Southern Art opened its doors to fourteen students, all with fashion on the brain. These teenagers were more than ready to get down to work on their future designs and upcoming show. Taking lead from instructor, Veronica Cho, and with the help of Sally Hall and myself, the process unfolded.

The journey began with introductions and a brief history of fashion and its transformations. Our budding talents learned that the key to creating fresh new ideas is learning where they have already been. Later they sat down for a necessary lesson in sketching and some useful “fashion lingo.”

After splitting into two groups, the campers created inspiration boards. They used them to help gather ideas for their individual designs. Extra inspiration proved to be essential when the moment came to learn what the design challenge would be: recycled materials. Once done sketching and re-sketching multiple ideas, each designer presented their pieces to their peers who served as an industry-like critique board.

After much planning and gathering of materials, the campers had one last thing to do before constructing garments: make a dress form. Using old t-shirts, staples, and a healthy serving of duct tape, they learned how to create a custom dress form. (see pictures below.)

Added to the title of designer, the teens also modeled their own fantastic creations. To prep for the catwalk, the were lucky enough to enlist the help of Fashion Week NOLA’s own Tracee Dundas. She gave the new models the tools they needed to perfect their runway walks and choreography. Along with Dundas, the industry hopefuls met with Mr. Edmund Kee, creator of local fashion magazine, Amelie G. He introduced them to a behind the scenes and real world view of the fashion industry.

Week two arrived in a flash, and now it was time to bring their ideas to life. The studio was filled with recycled Post-Its, pizza boxes, and puzzles (oh my!) A long list of other re-used, re-cycled, and reconstructed materials soon made their way on the forms as well. The girls and guy worked tirelessly on their garments, constantly problem-solving any and all obstacles encountered.

The end result was a stunning runway show that spoke true to the innovation and ideas of these young designers and their up-cycled fashions!


Samantha Spahr, Summer Intern, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

From the Eyes of an Intern: Part Two

July 30, 2012

Additionally, we have immersed ourselves in other museums and galleries of the Central Business District. We first went across the street to the Contemporary Arts Center to view the exhibit, “Space: Antenna, The Front, Good Children Gallery.” We were fascinated by the modern art, and the pieces certainly challenged our VTS skills.

“What do you see?”

“A bunch of toilet plungers.”

“Why do you say that?” and that ‘why’ question really enabled us to discover the intense message that such a simple object could produce.

A few weeks later we went down to the galleries on Julia Street. We particularly enjoyed the photography. Perhaps our most cherished visit thus far however has been to the K & B building to get a private tour of Sydney Besthoff’s vast art collection. Led by Mr. Besthoff and his daughter, Jane Steiner, we viewed their truly unique body of work, which included realism photography, wild clocks and mirrors, modern sculptures, and much more. Most of the collection is from New York, however a handful of New Orleans own art decorates the seventh floor too. It was such a joy and a privilege to share Mr. Besthoff’s passion and to learn about the art of collecting.

ImageAfter a wonderful visit at the K & B building (imaged above), we went to the New Orleans Museum of Art. We traveled from room to room, impressed particularly by the permanent contemporary collection. What a joy to see Picassos, Krasners, and Dubuffets up close and personal! In addition, we were enchanted by Gustave Blache III’s Leah Chase series. We felt the intimacy of all of his pieces and were even so tempted to eat at Dooky Chase later that day. 

We finished our tour of NOMA by taking a walk through the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Attached are a few photos of our favorite pieces.


–Cameron Lyon, Summer Intern, Duke University

From the Eyes of an Intern: Part One–>Tours

July 30, 2012

Our summer docent program truly encourages our teens to explore the passionate art community of New Orleans. From our first week together, we have sought out the art and sculpture of the Crescent City, starting at ground zero: the Ogden! Learning the basics of a painting and its artist were all apart of our training week, but with each tour and each new pair of eyes examining the work, my fellow docents have commented that they discover something new each day. Even the children during the art and drama summer camps were passionate New Orleans artists, who taught us that there is no cap to our wild imaginations. Art, in fact, can be a bumblebee with 8 wings or a crew of yogi turtles.




–Cameron Lyon, Summer Intern, Duke University

Intern and Docent on tours

July 30, 2012

Intern and Docent on tours

Above, a summer intern and docent show visiting students the work of Mark Messersmith

Second Session is On!

June 25, 2012

It’s hard to believe our first session of Art and Drama camp has come and gone, but we’ve already moved in our new set of campers! After last week’s spot on performance, we can’t wait to see what these little creative minds have in store for their own plays. Check out some photos from our first day!

The kids are introduced to their first acting exercises with Mikko.

Receiving feedback from their fellow thespians.

Practicing “doing” as they experimented expressing emotions while only using the simple phrase “Happy Birthday!”

The children explore the work of Mark Messersmith with Art teacher Sara.

Finding inspiration from the paintings, the kids began sketching their imaginations across the pages.