In an effort to add dimension to the 2D quality of photography and elevating it from the surface, as well as engage in collaboration and redefine identity, I practiced with some highly qualified school children, their teachers and parents at a Montessori school.  Together we made, Modern Community Tree and We Become Space (in three parts).  


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Modern Community Tree:  The children brought objects reflecting cultural heritage of their ancestors and showed them to the camera.  Working together they choose their backdrop, became the sun by holding the flash and pressed the shutter.  Once the work was printed we got out our trusty scissors, glue and string to make the portrait ovals.  Sticks from the shoreline of the Chicago river, sanded and wrapped in colorful yarn, blended the youthful faces with natural nesting materials.  


We Become Space (in three parts):  During their space exploration studies we discussed what the students might want to take with them if they were visiting another planet.  It all boiled down to the children wanting to bring each other.  A galaxy emerged to include Planet Naval, Saturn Sees All, Nebulas That Listen, Kicking Kaleidoscopes, Stinky Puss Pods, Big Hairy Audacious Comets, Good at Looking Stars and Stars of Praise.  This group also co-authored an accompanying story, person by person adding line by line without peeking at the one before. This process informed the narrative manifesting in the shadow boxes.