The historic Maple Grove Cemetery in the heart of Kew Gardens will host a special visual arts exhibition beginning Monday, Aug. 23.
Queens Community House (QCH), one of the largest social service organizations in the borough, partnered with the nonprofit Friends of Maple Grove to host QCH’s summer video and photography (SVP) program for young women exhibition at the sprawling 65-acre cemetery until Sept. 20.
“The SVP program gives young women another avenue for creative expression,” QCH Executive Director Ben Thomases said. “Having their photographs on display for the public at Maple Grove Cemetery is a great way to acknowledge everything they learned this summer about photography, the Queens community and, most importantly, themselves.”
The SVP program provides young women ages 13 to 18 with basic photography skills and offers opportunities to take photographs while exploring different neighborhoods in Queens.
This year, the program collaborated with the Josephine Herrick Project and welcomed a professional photographer to teach enhanced photography skills to the participants.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the SVP program and learned a lot about photography techniques, such as ‘frame within a frame’ and using lead lines,” SVP program participant Isabella Chow said.
This summer, the five-week-long program had 22 participants, and each young woman was able to display three of their own photographs at the exhibition.
At the start of the program each year, the young women get to choose the theme for their summer work. This year’s theme was “rooted in colors,” which explores the process of self-awareness by learning composition and lighting through the lens of a digital camera.
“Through these photographs, the young women build an appreciation of their world and who they are and how they contribute to society,” JHP Photography Instructor Wendy Correa said. “These images have become pieces of who these individuals are, and these pieces come together to bring their roots of colors into their lives.”
“We are extremely grateful for the partnerships that we created with the Josephine Herrick Project and Maple Grove Cemetery,” SVP Program Coordinator Taylor Faiella said. “These photographs were all taken at public parks in Queens and to be able to display their creative contributions at The Center is a great opportunity for these young women to showcase their learned photography skills”
The exhibition is open to the public at the Center of Maple Grove located inside the cemetery at 127-15 Kew Gardens Rd.
“I was so proud to see my daughter’s photographs on display at Maple Grove,” said Meghan Geraci, parent of SVP program participant Lauren Ramirez. “She looked forward to seeing her friends and counselors each week for SVP and came home with a story every time.”