Photo Club Newsletter 2019-2020

Photo by Ni’Yana
Photo of Gabrieliz by Joel
Photo of Ni’Yana by Josiah

Hello everyone, Photo Club has made some exciting changes this year. We have expanded! Flower City Arts Center now proudly serve up to 45 students in 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades from Wilson Foundation Academy and James Monroe High School.

The six goals of Photo Club are to:

  • empower youth to express their voice and vision
  • establish one to three year mentoring relationships
  • encourage youth to connect with their community
  • enhance knowledge of core school subjects
  • enable youth to build life skills
  • energize youth to work together in groups

Here’s some background and a sneak preview of  student work.

Photo Club started in the spring of 1999 and is now in its twenty-second consecutive year. Conducted by Flower City Arts Center, Photo Club is a 24 session after-school photography and writing program. After years of development, Studio 678’s model has been expanded to include Studio 789, James Monroe High School Photo Club.

Photo by Isabela

Students use a professional film camera to take pictures in the community, make their own black & white prints in the darkroom, write poems or stories to accompany their photographs, create a book of their work in the digital lab, and mat and frame their prints for exhibition.

Photo by Jadaly

The photography instructors at Flower City Arts Center work in partnership with teachers Michael Brundage and Alicia Oddo of  Wilson Foundation Academy, and Shanterra Chalice and Nilsa Irizarry of James Monroe High School.  These dedicated and caring  teachers provide an essential link from the school to our after-school program. They help recruit students, participate in every meeting, and monitor the academic performance, attendance, and individual needs of our students.

Photo by Desire

Photo Club is free to students; Flower City Arts Center secures funding for the program each year. This year’s supporters include Canfield and Tack, Cheryl & Don Olney, Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, DiBella’s, Fay Slover Fund at The Boston Foundation,

Photo by Isabela

Feinbloom Supporting Foundation, Joy of Giving Something, Lumiere, William & Sheila Konar Foundation, Mary S. Mulligan Charitable Trust, Nancy Sands, Teresa Sipone, Vicki & Richard Schwartz Family Fund, Janet Buchanan Smith, Jeanne & Tom Verhulst, Fred & Floy Willmott Foundation, and many individuals.

Kodak Alaris donated film, Blessed Sacrament Church provided use of their parking lot, and Domino’s donated pizza. Aenon Missionary Baptist Church provided us with vans to bring students to Flower City Arts Center from school, and to various field trip sites. The Greater Rochester Community Transportation Foundation provided a grant to pay for some of the transportation costs.

Photo of Kingston by Sahara

Look what we have been up to!

At our first meeting in September, students came to Flower City Arts Center to learn about photography by making photograms in the darkroom and learning how a 35mm film camera works.  We then assigned five students to each of the nine lead photography instructors to form groups for the year.  14 students from last year rejoined our club.

We then began rotating our time between field trips, including two Saturday trips, making black and white prints in the darkrooms at Flower City Arts Center, and learning how to scan and edit images using Photoshop.

Our field trip sites included…

Colleges – Monroe Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester.

Thermal photo of Ms. Liz’s group at RIT

Urban settings – Monroe Avenue, Neighborhood of the Arts, Martin Luther King Memorial Park, Public Market, Village Gate, High and Low Falls and Rochester Public Library.

Ms. Kylie’s group at MCC

Natural settings – Hemlock Hills Alpaca Farm, Lamberton Conservatory, Begin Again Horse Rescue, Cobbs Hill, Cracker Box Palace Animal Shelter, Sunken Gardens and Washington Grove.

Ms. Kylie group at Cracker Box Palace Animal Rescue

A variety of work places – stores on Monroe Avenue, Pet Pride of New York, Verona St Animal Society, Allie’s Pet Corner, Rochester Police Department Technicians Unit, and Rochester Fire Department Engine 1.

Ms. Juliana group visiting the Technicians Unit at RPD

Museums and historical sites – Mt. Hope Cemetery, Ganondagan State Historical Site, George Eastman Museum, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Museum and Science Center,   and Strong Museum of Play.

Photo by Latifa

Community events – Fringe Street Beat and other Fringe Festival events, and Hilton Apple Festival.

Photo by James

Arts and cultural locations – UUU Gallery, Performing Arts Center at MCC, Photojournalism Projects Exhibition opening at RIT’s William Harris Gallery.

Mr. Quajay’s group in the Lighting Studio

In November and December students used the photography lighting studio to take portraits of each other. From November to January, poets Doug Curry, Grace Flores, Arthur “Marvelous Marvin” McCraw, and Laura Thompson performed their own poems for inspiration and helped the students create poems to accompany their pictures.

Students also learned how to scan their images  and use Photoshop in our digital lab to help create a section of book pages, with their writing and photos, and to create a multi media presentation. All the students brainstormed ideas for the book titles Wilson’s cohort chose “Through Our Eyes” and Monroe’s cohort chose “Shared Life Through the Lens”. The book cover photographs will be revealed at the ceremonies this Spring.

Currently, students are matting and framing  photographs for their final exhibition. Some students will make 11X14 size prints for an exhibit at Image City Photography Gallery.  In March, photos will be selected for permanent placement in a variety of community settings funded by the Fay Slover Fund at the Boston Foundation.

Studio 678 Wilson Foundation Academy Photo Club Final Ceremony

City Hall, 30 Church Street, Rochester, NY 14614,                                           Friday, March 27th, 2020

  • 6:30 pm: Awards Ceremony & Book Release in the City Council Chambers, third floor
    • Multi media Presentation of student art
    • Award Presentation with guest speaker
    • Book Release, copy awarded to each student
  • 7:30 pm: Exhibition Opening Reception in The Link Gallery, first floor
    • A selection of Studio 678 members’ photographs, writing, and special projects will be on display.

Studio 789 James Monroe High School Photo Club Final Ceremony

James Monroe High School, 164 Alexander Street, Rochester, NY 14607 Saturday, March 28th, 2020

  • 11:00 am: Awards Ceremony & Book Release in the Gymnasium
    • Multi media Presentation of student art
    • Award Presentation with guest speaker
    • Book Release, copy awarded to each student
  • 12:00 pm: Exhibition Opening Reception in the Atrium
    • A selection of Studio 789 members’ photographs, writing, and special projects will be on display.

Please support these young photographers with your presence at these uplifting events celebrating the hard work, perseverance, and creativity of our students! We hope to see you there!

UPDATE: Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic we have postponed both the Studio 678 & 789 Exhibition Openings, Awards Ceremonies, and Book Releases. We plan to hold both at Flower City Arts Center at the end of May if we are able. For the most up-to-date information please check out our Facebook page

RISOdency Update

Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting to know the Risograph duplicator and am finding it to be an incredibly versatile and useful machine for experimenting with image making. We’re so lucky in Rochester to have FCAC as a space where community members have access to specialized tools for art making!

I had the opportunity to teach an introductory workshop and whenever I teach I always learn more in the process. I really enjoyed seeing what color combinations and layering techniques the students used. FCAC also has a swatch book for the seven colors they keep in stock, which is helpful for the planning stages of any project.

Most of my interest in the Risograph comes from a need to expand my book making practice to larger editions. The cost effectiveness, speed, and eco friendliness of the Risograph far outweigh its drawbacks.

I have been primarily experimenting with the use of photographic imagery and was able to do this for the FCAC 2020 Printmaking and Book Arts calendar. The first two layers of my calendar month (June) were linoleum blocks printed on the Vandercook No.4 and the final two layers were printed using the Risograph duplicator.

I am also very excited about the potential for variation when printing on different colored papers. Below are a couple examples of images I’ve been working with so far:

AIR Introduction: Fernando Muller

Hello!  My name is Fernando Muller and I’m the new Artist in Residence in the Photography Department at Flower City Arts Center for the 2019 – 2020 year!  I was born in Peru and moved to the United States at the age of 13.  In 2017, I graduated from The College at Brockport with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography.  Since then, I have worked as a Lead Teacher in Studio 678, and I have pursued photographic projects that reflect my experiences as a queer person of color in the Rochester Community.  In addition, I work full time as an HIV Prevention Specialist at Trillium Health which has helped me further understand the community to which I belong.

During this residency, I will continue to explore my place in the gay community as a queer person of color through Photography.  I will  volunteer with Studio 789; I will teach “Photography in Queer Culture” starting in October; and I will start a “Queer Photo Club” – a photography club for queer artists meeting once every month.

Keep up with my posts every Wednesday to see what I’m working on, or ideas, and for future involvement in the community and Flower City Arts Center.

Photo by Maxwell Harvey-Sampson

Class Spotlight: VIVA! Family Memories

As I was looking over the class offerings at Flower City Arts Center this upcoming fall, two unique classes caught my eye. As someone who treasures the time I spend with my family, I often complain that we do not preserve our photos properly. There is a box in my basement full of photos that are going to waste. That is why the classes, VIVA! Scanning Family Photos, and VIVA! Family Album stuck out to me as such fun and important classes.

Let me back up for a minute, you may be asking yourself what is with VIVA! in front of everything? Well, VIVA stands for Vitality in the Visual Arts and it is a series of classes created for participants 55+ who are interested in exploring art. Participants will get an overview of different subject matter a chance to work in the studio with professional artists.

Now, lets jump into the classes themselves!

VIVA! Scanning Family Photos
September 19th-October 10th, Thursdays 10 am-12 pm

The best way to make sure that family photos last forever is to keep them digitally. Participants get tech-savy and learn how to scan photographs, slides and negatives and then learn basic photoshop tools to make the memories look as good as can be! This is a great class for beginners as no prior knowledge is required!

Click here to register or to learn more!

VIVA! Family Album
October 8th-October 10th, 12:30-2:30 pm

This class is a great way to have fun and walk away with a keepsake that will be treasured forever. In this workshop you will learn to create or rebuild a family photo album using archival methods and materials.  Take that old box of photos and turn it into a beautiful album!

Click here to register or to learn more!

If you are not 55 or older, these classes are perfect to give a loved one as a gift! Also, check out our full list of classes here!


Celebrate the Best Parts of Fall

As summer cools down and leaves begin to change, it is a great time to meditate on the beauty and uniqueness that fall brings. These three classes at Flower City are a great way to get out and experience the wonder that is Upstate New York’s autumn!

Landscape Photography: How Did We Get Where We Are?
October 1st-November 11th, Mondays 6:30 pm-8:30 pm

This class is perfect for nature lovers! The class will begin of a survey of the history of landscape photography and its evolution in the past 150 years. Students will also participate in a shooting outing and discuss their results. This is a great chance to get study other artists, get outdoors and improve your photography skills!

Click here to register for this class or to learn more!

Van Dyke Brown Workshop
November 9th, 12-3 pm

This one day workshop utilizes Van Dyke Brown, a process similar to kallitype, to create warm toned prints. These brown toned prints, are perfect for capturing the spirit of fall. Participants bring their own B&W film negative, so subject matter is completely open! Images can range from 120mm to 4×5 film size. Make sure you don’t miss out on this special workshop!

Click here to register for this class or to learn more!

Boo! Photograms
October 26th, 10 am-12 pm

Everyone knows, the best thing about fall is Halloween! This short class is fun for the entire family and perfect way to spend time with kids 8+. Create B&W photogram prints in the darkroom using our creepy crawly toys! These are great mementos to keep as halloween decorations for years to come!

Click here to register for this class or to learn more!

Don’t miss the chance to improve your photography skills and have fun! Click here to see all classes offered at Flower City. Hope to see you there!



First Light Reception

Looking for an enriching and interesting event this weekend? I’d love to draw your attention to First Light, an off-site exhibition focusing on the stories of six women veterans through black and white photography and writing. First Light is the culminating event of a 12-week photography and writing program, Eyes Front, with Flower City Arts Center.

Eyes Front is a 12-week photography and writing program for women combat veterans; an opportunity for them to express, both visually and in writing, their unique experiences and to share their stories with the community. By engaging in an intensive creative experience, participants explore topics of importance to them such as why they joined the military, its significance for them, various issues they have faced, or other personal reflections. Participants were immersed in the entire process of photography – learning how to use a film camera, taking pictures at home and in the community, and printing their own black and white images.

This exhibition is up from currently at Image City Photography Gallery and will be open until September 1st. Join us for the exhibition reception tomorrow, August 17th 5pm-8pm!

Click here get more information about the event our click here to learn more about our Eyes Front program!

“Pumpkin Spice”-Up Your Photography with These Unique Fall Classes!

Fall is quickly approaching! As one is lulled into coziness by the changing leaves, and fall festivities it is easy to forget all the great opportunities happening around you. While apple picking and tractor rides are must, make sure to clear your calendars for these four unique classes you will not want to miss.

Creating Letterpress Plates with Adobe Illustrator
Tuesdays 7-9pm, Sept. 17-Oct. 8

Interested in both printmaking and digital art? This class is right up your alley! Create photopolymer plates for letterpress printing using Adobe Illustrator. After spending two weeks in the digital lab learning some Illustrator basics and how best to design for letterpress, the class will go to the print shop to learn how to print their plates on our Vandercook presses. Your imagination is the limit!

Click here to learn more or to register!

Image Transfers on Wood
Saturday, Sept. 28 10am-1pm

This class is a perfect chance to get creative on a tight schedule! Learn how transfer your images onto wood with this fun and easy process. Materials will be provided. Just bring some pictures that will translate well into black and white.  Wood transfers make excellent and personal gifts for your loved ones!

Click here to learn more or to register!

Candid Street Photography
Oct. 10-17

Diversify your portfolio by branching into street photography! Get a crash course on what makes Street Photography such an exciting genre. Learn how to conquer fears of taking photos of strangers and tips on how to best prepare yourself to make candid street photos. Field trip, critiques and assignments will round out the class schedule. Don’t miss this opportunity to try something new!

Click here to learn more or to register!

Photography in Queer Culture
Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm, Oct. 16-Nov.6

Delve into new topics and get collaborative! This class will explore photographers in the Queer Community, some who lived throughout the AIDS Epidemic, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Félix González-Torres; and some who are still making work today, such as Zanele Muholi. Throughout this month, we will collaborate on a class project that will depict our views and experiences in the Queer Community in the form of images and/or writing.

Click here to learn more or to register!

If non of these classes strike your interest, try taking a look at our full class list. Happy Fall!

Boost Your Photography Skills with Our New Classes!

The art world can be intimidating. For the first two years of high school, I refused to pick up a camera because I didn’t know any technical terms or own professional equipment (and I was convinced that I would drop any camera I came into contact with).

Finally, with the quote “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” from Hillary Duff’s Cinderella Story ringing in my ears, I ignored my fear and enrolled in photography class. Man! am I glad I did that.

If you are looking for a way to branch out of your typical routine and gain some knowledge about photography, I highly suggest one of these four classes!

Meet the Flower City Arts Center
Thursday Sept. 19 & Monday Oct. 28, 4-5pm

If you have never taken a class at Flower City, this is the perfect place to start! This free tour will give you an insight into the facilities and history of Flower City Arts Center. Chat with our staff and find the right class for you!

Click here to learn more or register!

Flirting with Photography
Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm, Sept. 18-Nov. 6

Get a taste of all things photography in this eight day class! Students will have projects in the Community Darkroom, Silver Den, Lighting Studio, and Digital Art Studio. The best part? No prior experience necessary! This is an ideal class for those looking to “get their feet wet” in the world of photography.

Click here to learn more or register!

Looking at Photographs
Thursdays 6:30-8:30pm, Sept. 19-Sept. 28 & one Saturday field-trip to the George Eastman Museum 

Want to know what makes a photo great? This class will cover both journalistic and art photos from daguerreotype to digital. You will learn to understand what elements make a photo work and how to apply that to your own photography. Students will share photographs they love and give and get feedback in a final peer-review session. This is a great class for collectors, photographers or those hoping to gain a better understanding of the thought that goes into photography.

Click here to learn more or to register!

Basic Studio Lighting
Mondays 6:30-8:30pm, Sept. 3-Oct. 28


If you are looking to improve your lighting skills this is the class for you! Instruction will include various techniques in the use of the studio’s White Lightning strobes in multiple lighting configurations, as well as other equipment such as an incident/flash meter, softboxes, umbrellas, and various other attachment and light modifiers.

Click here to learn more or to register!


I hope you found this post helpful in finding some new classes to experiment with! If these don’t strike your fancy, I encourage you to check our our full fall class list.