Teen Photo Contest: City Stories
The Jewish Museum offers middle and high school students the opportunity to submit creative work to various art contests. Inspired by the exhibition New York; 1962–1964, the Jewish Museum recently invited middle and high school students to submit original photographs documenting the people, places, and stories that represent and distinguish their communities, both inside and out of New York City. Read the artists’ statements to learn more about their winning photographs.
High school winner: Gianna Goldfarb, age 15, grade 10
“This photo represents my community, a combination of the old world and the new world, religious traditions and secular pursuits. This is a picture of a Modern Orthodox Jew peering into the world of secular literature while still retaining his cultural identity.”
High school second place: Yeasin Haque, age 18, grade 12
“We are all subject to the walls that confine us; we condemn ourselves into this fabricated habitat we call New York City. How does one who has become so accustomed to concrete jungles find sanctuary within nature. At that point, what does a city dweller define as nature? A tree in front of their apartment? The pigeons nesting under the 6 train? Everything about our lives programmed to be artificial, how does one find peace with the abstractions of creation and life. Our views guided by the lines of our geometry, how does one find a composition to rest their eyes in the architecture that dominates nature. Ones whole life guided by sidewalks and symbols, where does one go when instead of lines, colliding shapes and colors rule your paths. When the habits of your artificial life are taken from you, what peace do you pull from the abyss, how does nature fill that void? Does one feel more liberated walking into in the unknown of Mother Nature, or does sitting in the comfort of Lady Liberty’s land bring them peace? The series of images are a capture of what living in a linear world looks like to me. How the community and people around me feel so programmed to the organization of their surroundings. And how my conditioning to this artificial habitat has impacted my concept of nature and life outside my metropolis.”
Middle school winner: Angelina Wu, age 12, grade 7
“This photo represents my community because there are students. Whether they are not enough or they don’t fit in. There can be many other reasons why students feel like giving up. Every 16 hours someone dies from suicide in New York City. About 8.4% of students die from suicide. Depression or another mental health condition are two of the most common factors of suicide in students. My photo shows one person sitting down feeling lonely or upset and the other person is there to keep the other person company. The whole meaning of this photo is to show that students are never alone and they always have someone to talk to or they can talk to someone they trust and start opening up to others. It shows that there are still nice heartwarming people in New York that will give you a helping hand when you need it most. But you don’t need to be in New York to help others. In other states there are people that will help you no matter what the problem is. whether it’s a small or big problem.”
Middle school second place: Annabel Walkow, age 12, grade 7
“The person I photographed was my mom. She is half Chinese, and her father (my grandpa) immigrated to America when he was 19. I used a projector, and projected images of New York’s lights at night onto her face, symbolizing how she is a first generation American, and that is who she is.”
To learn more about Teen Programs at the Jewish Museum, visit TheJewishMuseum.org/Teens.