‘Vida en la Calle’

Article Published: Aug. 22, 2012 | Modified: Aug. 22, 2012
‘Vida en la Calle’

‘Vide en la Calle (Life on the Street)’ is a student group photography exhibit, showcasing life on
the streets in Havana, Cuba.

Photo by Meghan Johnson

The Looking Glass Gallery presents “Vida en la Calle (Life in the Street),” a group photography exhibit by students from Appalachian State University’s Department of Technology and Environmental Design.

The exhibition will be on view Aug. 21 to Sept. 11, with a reception on Friday, Sept. 7, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the gallery, located in Plemmons Student Union on the Appalachian campus. The event is free and open to the public. The exhibition was curated by Dianna Loughlin.

While traveling around Cuba, eight student photographers captured the life of locals on the streets of Havana and have brought back a collective retrospective of their experiences.

“Vida en la Calle (Life in the Street)” came to fruition after the Department of Technology and Environmental Design offered a study abroad experience in Havana, Cuba, in late December 2011 through Jan. 11, 2012. The class brought a group of technical photography majors: Dudley Carter, Rebecca Durr, Jesse Helms, Angela Hensley, Meghan Johnson, Matt Miller, Rebecca Murray and Jake Swarr.

These student photographers documented and observed the differences between religious and holiday celebrations in Cuba compared to celebrations in the U.S. They earned a new appreciation for Cuban culture as a whole that culminated from the experiences they had on the lively streets of Havana.

“If you can learn enough Spanish to say, ‘¿Puedo tomar una fotographía, por favor?,’” Hensley said, “then you will be rewarded with special images of a special place.” The phrase translated into English is “Can I take your photograph, please?”

The exhibit was compiled from thousands of photographs taken on the students’ trip.

“While captured through the lenses of eight individual students, this body of work shows a unique, yet unified understanding of how life in the streets has brought a community together and demonstrates how the United States is more like Cuba than many may realize,” Loughlin said.

“While Cuba is a different place, it is still similar in more ways than not to the U.S. experience,” Hensley said.

The photographs depict a life not with oppression or tyranny of a dominating government, but rather of interaction and play, age and the passing of time, social classes, and life “at its visceral best.”

Looking Glass Gallery is located on the first floor of the Plemmons Student Union at Appalachian State University. Gallery hours for fall 2012 and spring 2013 are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, from 1 to 10 p.m. A full schedule for the Plemmons Student Union is available at http://studentunion.appstate.edu/pagesmith/34.

For more information about the gallery, visit http://www.LookingGlassGallery.appstate.edu.

Gallery Times

Gallery Times is a weekly news feature of The Mountain Times, featuring short news items submitted by local galleries.

For more information or to make a submission, contact editor Frank Ruggiero at (frank@mountaintimes.com) or (828) 264-6397.

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