On June 28 the Ruth Ellis Center celebrated the opening of its youth photography exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Five young people from the Ruth Ellis Center participated in a month-long training with MOCAD staff members to create photographs and labels that explore LGBTQ youth homelessness, sexual identity and love.
“MOCAD has been an exemplary community partner for the Ruth Ellis Center and our youth. They have spent time at the Center with our young people and worked closely with them at the museum for this enriching program,” said Laura Hughes, Ruth Ellis Center Executive Director. “This exhibition gave these young people a platform for positive self expression and it is an experience that the youth and the Center will cherish.”
Youth photographers Bernard Norris, Shorty VIXEN Trammel, Donnie Dawson, Curtis “Ms. C” Collins and Emani Tate, worked with adult photographers to learn the basics of photography and lighting. Both the youth and their mentor photographers valued the time spent working together.
“Knowing the important work the Ruth Ellis Center does in this community and understanding that they are one of the few organizations in the country dedicated to this mission, the Center represents a perfect partner as we further establish ourselves as a community anchor,” said MOCAD deputy director, Rebecca Mazzei. “We hope this pilot project is just the beginning of what will become a long-term collaboration featuring projects of varying scales.”
The 25 powerful photographs taken by the youth will be on view at MOCAD until July 29. The opening reception included remarks from Katie McGowan, MOCAD curator of education who worked with the youth, Mark Erwin, Ruth Ellis Center director of programs, and Donnie Dawson, one of the youth photographers.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) is located at 4454 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201. For more information, visit http://www.mocadetroit.org.