It’s a good practice to see things from another’s point of view — that is exactly what you can do at the McMillan Arts Centre next month.
That’s where more than two dozen images from the local Snap-Shots 4-H Photography Club will be on display in the Nemeth Gallery.
“I’m amazed at the quality of the work, even from the younger kids,” said one of the group’s leaders Joan Larson, who is a visual artist herself. “We (she and Joan Wouters, the other leader) are so proud of them!”
Snap-Shots currently has 15 active members. Throughout the year, the kids practice their photography skills at club meetings and photo-taking field trips.
Now, out of all those images that they took, each member of the Snap-Shots group was asked to select what they though was their two best images for the November show and submit them as 8 x 10 prints.
In fact, Larson said she and Wouters will have no say in what photos are entered into the show. “This is about them,” she explained. “It’s about the kids developing a discerning eye.”
It may seem odd that 4-H, which traditionally aimed to teach skills needed to succeed on a farm, now has a photography club, but things have changed in the organization’s 101 years in Canada. Sure there is still a strong rural focus with agricultural and animal husbandry clubs, but 4-H now also includes projects in nutrition, science, technology and outdoor living. “You can do 4-H with anything … All it takes is kids who are interested and a parent or adult to volunteer to teach,” said Larson.
Over the years, 4-H also developed a new motto: “Learn to do by Doing.” And that is exactly what the Snap-Shots club aims to do.
“Photography is about teaching kids to look at the world a different way,” Larson said.
The Snap-Shots 4-H Photography Club will not be the only group offering a different viewpoint at the MAC this November. According to a news release from the centre, photographer Debra Kuzbik will also exhibit her work, which aims to interpret and honour natural landscapes, and members of the Oceanside Community Arts Council will reflect their love of Vancouver Island with artworks in a show titled “Bounty of the Island.” The exhibits will be on display Nov. 7 – 29.
There will also be an opening reception on Friday Nov. 7 from 7 – 9 p.m. for all three groups. The night will include complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages, and will offer the opportunity to meet the artists.
“The (4-H) kids are very pumped about this exhibit and opening reception,” said Linda Matteson-Reynolds, administrator of the MAC. “This will be icing and sprinkles on the cake.”