SAY Si's Fotoseptiembre Exhibit Made Of More Than Pictures

Aug 27, 2014

There’s a photo exhibit that opens next week that’s a lot deeper than it first seems to be. Echoes: Reconstructions of Images Past is filled with pictures, but it’s how they got to be pictures that reveals their artistry.

“What the students are doing is they’re actually bringing family photographs, and they’re deconstructing those photographs, separating them foreground, middle and background,” said SAY Sí MEdia Arts Director Guillermina Zabala on the process. They students scan a picture then digitally separate its elements in Photoshop.

Students then re-construct those separated elements using fabrics, paint, or whatever they choose.

"The project doesn’t finish there. They create this sort of 3D maquette (a model), and then they take a photograph of those," Zabala explained. "And the actual photograph is the piece that we’re going to be showing at the exhibit. They’re creating a new interpretation of what those old photographs mean to them now.”

SAY Sí will feature 120 students in the Fotoseptiembre exhibit, at Say Sí’s 1518 South Alamo studios.

“The exhibit is going to open on First Friday, September 5, and it’ll be up until mid October," said Zabala. "It’s really the perfect project to introduce photography to visual arts students.”

I asked if it helped to give young art students specific instructions and a hard deadline.

“As a young artist they need to know that eventually when they’re in college, or later on if they want to become a professional artist, there are deadlines,” Zabala said.

I noted that all the creativity in the world won’t help if you can’t meet a deadline.

“Oh my God, yes!” Zabala said.