Collaborations XIII: The Gray Matters

  May 13 - July 10

On view at HCP: May 13-July 10, 2016
Opening reception: Friday, May 13 5:30-8:00pm
Artist Talks: May 14, 11:30am

HCP’s Collaborations is an educational program that celebrates photography and encourages cooperation and teamwork between Houston-area high school students as they create an exhibition from beginning to end.

Now in its thirteenth year, Collaborations includes 19 students from 11 Houston-area high schools who met every other week in the evenings at HCP or at partner organizations such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Throughout the program, they meet with photography experts such as HCP staff, curators, university professors, and professional photographers to discuss exhibition planning, critique photographic work, and participate in lectures and discussions with artists and photographers from the Houston community.

“This year’s group chose to focus on the flawed nature of humanity, a popular subject across disciplines; such as literature and the performing arts. Numerous ideologies and theories on the human condition exist dating as far back as Plato and his Allegory of the Cave. Contemporary thought suggests that everyone has flaws and that those flaws make up the core of humanity. Some natural human responses such as anger or crying are viewed as flaws while traits such as vanity and greed are upheld and praised. The flawed nature of mankind is not black and white; it’s more complex, comprising of natural and learned behaviors.

While facilitating the group, I noticed a common thread forming among the students and how they interpreted the theme. An overwhelming majority of them wanted to focus on the area between black and white, good and evil, right and wrong. The students were passionate and thought deeply about how to represent those that live in the gray area of society. This took the form of portraits celebrating the Other to images documenting complacency, apathy and the failure to reach self-actualization. They concluded that we all have gray areas within our being. It is the acknowledgement and acceptance of those flawed aspects of self without judgment that contribute to each us reaching our full potential. It is during adolescence that we begin to think about what it means to be a part of a larger community and begin to assess our gray areas. In hindsight, the students’ selection of the flaws of humanity as a theme is appropriate to their own development as individuals and members of society."

—Jamie Robertson, Outreach Coordinator

This exhibition is supported by the Eleanor and Frank Freed Foundation.

Related Programming:
Opening Reception: STOW, HCP Fellowships, and 2016 Collaborations

Featured Students:
Ilona Altman​, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Salwa Ashrawi​, Cypress Woods High School​
Jonathan Carneiro​, Cypress Woods High School​
Drake Champion-Ball​, Westside High School​
Mason Cullen​, Cypress Ranch High School​
Allie Fairweather​, Cypress Ranch High School​
Andres Gaitan​, Cypress Ranch High School​
Emily Goll-Broyles​, Bellaire High School​
Miranda Greenwalt​, Episcopal High School​
Daphne Kokkinis​, St. Agnes Academy​
Camille Mayor​, Saint John XXIII College Preparatory​
Kelyn Mejia​, KIPP Houston High School​
Leslie Perez​, Klein Oak High School​
Luisa Pineda​, Cypress Ranch High School​
Leslie Rivas​, KIPP Houston High School
Emma Robinson​, St. John's School​
Madeline Spence​, Lamar High School
Julio Turcios​, Cypress Ranch High School​
Spencer Vogel​, Awty International School​