New Haven Vet Center Exhibit

On February 21, 2017, photographs taken by New Haven based veterans were hung for the local community to view. An opening reception in the bright white gallery at Gateway Community College offered an ideal space to engage others in the art and vision of veterans, including some attending the college.

New Haven Vet Center, another strong partner in collaboration with JHP, offered an 8-week introduction to photography course to a large group of interested and invested future photographers. The vets participate with the vet center for counseling and other activities that support a healthy lifestyle as a former combat veteran. This program with JHP served as a creative outlet and safe space for veterans to reflect on individual voice and memory.

Instructed by JHP Teaching Artist–Susan Falzone, JHP board member–Randy Bourne, and New Haven Vet Center member–Bob Kukiel–the group took excursions around their immediate Orange,CT neighborhood, visited a nearby farm and practiced getting up close and personal with their subject matter.

Program Director, Afiya Williams, joined the group at the exhibit reception and was able to spend some time with New Haven Vet Center staff Gabor Kautzner and his radio show “Voice of the Veteran”. Stay tuned for access to the hour long conversation about veterans and the benefits of photography.

JHP continues to grow its partnership with agencies providing services to veterans within NYC and in surrounding communities. We are proud to work with such special individuals, hear their stories and enhance their storytelling through photography. If you’re in or around New Haven, take a quick ride over to Gateway Community College — the exhibit is up until March 5th.

 

JHP Enhances Lives at the Portland Vet Center

The Portland Art Museum hosted a summer event on June 16, 2016 celebrating military veterans, including sixty 8 x 10 photographs taken by nine veterans in the Josephine Herrick Project program at the Portland Vet Center. Nine combat veterans, from Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, attended the program at the Vet Center over six Saturdays, from April 2 to May 7th. All printing was paid for by the JHP volunteer photographers. This was the first time JHP has had an active presence in the Northwest and the program was well received.

Jack Kane, a US Army veteran who learned photography during his service in Germany, recently retired from the transportation industry and approached Maureen McNeil, Executive Director of JHP, about volunteering with veterans and attended a week long training in NYC in the fall of 2015. McNeil introduced him to NYC veteran programs and issues, the JHP staff, photographers and participants. They visited Jean Cooney at the Bronx VA Hospital, Francisca Nazario at the Queens Vet Center, and Brett Morash, JHP Board member, at Services for the Underserved.

In Portland, Jack recruited volunteers who attended training sessions with JHP Program Director Afiya Williams over conference call and skype. Doug Huegli was the primary instructor with 20 plus years of teaching photography at the high school level and his part time work as a commercial photographer.   Ellen Lodine, a retired high school teacher, was assisted. Randy Carpenter, an avid amateur photographer also assisted in a coaching role.   Kane attended each session and presented the “introduction” lesson. Rosemary Knapp continues to assist by contacting organizations interesting in hosting public showings of the veteran’s photography.

Photograph by: George (participant)

“JHP recently received a planning grant to grow veteran programs in upstate New York,” said McNeil. “Working with a talented businessman and veteran Jack Kane made the planning and execution of the long distance program relatively easy to maintain the JHP brand and quality of our programming. I am sorry that we did not have travel funding in place to attend the Portland Museum of Art opening.”

Photograph by: Chris (participant)

Thank you Jack Kane, The Portland Vet Center, The Portland Museum of art, all the volunteers and participants.  Several days after the event ended, Kane was contacted by the Portland Art Museum and the JHP veteran programs were invited to attend the event again in 2017.

   

Photograph by: Art (participant)

“Subway Sleepers” Opened with Grand Success!

What an amazing opening reception we had last night at La Mama Theatre featuring Linda Kessler‘s “Subway Sleepers” and the work of program participants from the JHP and Brain Injury Awareness of New York State partnership!

We are so grateful for all that attended and shared love and energy with us. Your support makes it possible to continue to do the fulfilling work of enhancing lives through photography!

Many MANY thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for supporting our community work and believing in our mission. Here’s to another great exhibit!

Did you miss it? The exhibit is open all weekend:
June 23-24: 11am-9pm
June 25-26: 2pm-9pm

 

Making Photos is Making History

Last week, I attended a Black History Month event in Harlem, hosted by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. I was instantly touched by the words of Ming Smith, who was honored that evening, when she said, “photographs are powerful, and looking at your own photograph makes you powerful.” So true! We create our own history when we snap a picture.

I hope you all had a chance to read the Editor’s Letter in the February issues of Popular Photography
by Miriam Leuchter. She is also Vice President of the Board of Directors at JHP and heads up the development committee. We are so lucky to have her! She shares her observations on a visit to our photography program that takes place at NYU Langone Medical Center with adults suffering from brain injury. A testament to the magic of the camera lens – of all the arts, I find photography to be the most accessible and versatile. With an introduction by a professional, our participants learn hands-on, create, share and connect. Offering a camera to someone who feels cut off because of poverty or illness is an invitation to be part of the world, and make history.

 

Happy International Women’s Day

Dear Friends,

As March 8th is International Women’s Day, I’d like to give a shout out to Josephine Herrick (1897 – 1972), a professional photographer who combined photography and volunteerism to help the neediest Americans. Inspired by the Red Cross and the USO, she set up a nonprofit during WWII and peace did not end her labor of love. For over 75 years, the organization has cultivated partnerships with military, medical and educational institutions, photographers and camera manufacturers, in a heroic community effort to make social change. In the attached photo from the 1950s, note the pride shown by the Syracuse volunteers (Josephine Herrick stands to our left). In honor of our founder, I am happy to announce the establishment of JOSEPHINE HERRICK DAY on March 30th. Each year, JHP will promote a photography and social justice project selected by people in the field. This year’s judges are Popular Photography and American Photo editor Miriam Leuchter, and photographers Nina Berman and Deborah Willis.

WORLD WAR II Photographs by Josephine Herrick

The Josephine Herrick Project is a War Baby born in 1941 with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In honor of the organization’s 75th anniversary, we have published the first collection of Herrick’s WWII photographs: Portraits of Navy Day, October 29, 1945 aboard the USS Helena. These never-before seen portraits have been scanned from negatives by JHP Director of Photography, Krista Kennell, and introduced by JHP board member Lt. Cdr. (Ret) Brett Morash, PhD.  The book is available for purchase on our website and supports JHP photography programs in 26 NYC communities, including veteran programs at the VA Hospitals, Vet Centers, St. Francis College, and at veteran homes in Brooklyn through Services for the Underserved.

Veterans, then and now, are thrilled to connect to each other and their larger community through the visual art of photography. This book documents Josephine Herrick’s dream come true, connecting the public with images of men who serve their country with pride and joy.

-Maureen McNeil, Executive Director

January Message from Executive Director, Maureen McNeil

Dear Friends,

This week we received a gift from Josephine’s relative in Cleveland, Ohio: Herrick family photographs, Josephine’s personal letters, Christmas cards with her images, and exhibition announcements. What a wonderful way to start JHP’s 75th year! Take a look at this photograph of Josephine, circa 1910, as a young teen holding a camera while boating, most likely at the family summer house on Lake Erie. Her long braid swoops across her back as she concentrates in the moment before clicking the shutter. This is the same magical moment JHP program participants experience today! In a letter from 1927 she grieves her father’s death: “I am so desperately lonely for daddy tonight, it doesn’t seem I can stand it. Another year is ending, and without him right here, though I feel him everywhere, always.” In a letter, decades later, two years before her death in 1972, she wrote, “This Wednesday May 27th I plan to leave for my fiftieth Reunion at Bryn Mawr. My dear friend Peg Biddle is sending her car over for me…”  Thank you Dorothy Herrick! At long last, we can pair Josephine’s words and images to tell her story.

-Maureen