More specifically, we are celebrating the evolution of our beloved organization. In 1941, Josephine Herrick founded Volunteer Service Photography (VSP), an organization that sent photographers into VA Hospitals to work with the wounded warriors of World War II. Offering the camera as a tool for holistic healing and recognition of the whole person, VSP evolved and expanded to reach other populations who faced challenges, like children with physical disabilities.
In March 1983, VSP became Rehabilitation Through Photography (RTP), which had been the VSP tagline for 42 years. Renamed Josephine Herrick Project (JHP) in 2013, we continue this legacy of strengthening individual voice, self-confidence and community engagement through participation in our programs and internships.
Like the evolution of the camera or even the evolution of our understanding of the human condition, our organization has evolved in our mission to make art accessible and uplifting for all. As we enter our 75th year of enhancing lives through photography, JHP is proud to celebrate our long lasting legacy and our growth in supporters, volunteers and individuals served.
As a volunteer organization serving veterans for nearly seventy-five years, I wanted to report on something dear to JHP for Veterans Day so I picked up the phone and called Sheridan Dean. One of our goals is to train veterans to teach our veteran programs. Sheridan, after taking two programs at the Brooklyn VA taught by Camille Tokerud, assisted her in teaching a program at the Genesis House in Brooklyn, and now he is co-teaching with Linda Kessler at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. He said “what is rewarding is that there are always a couple of veterans in each class who, like me, get hooked on photography.”
During his military service, Sheridan attended aviation school and worked on aircraft structural repair. Returning home to Brooklyn, he had a career with the telephone company. Now, in retirement, he is happy to document events like yesterday’s at Brooklyn Borough Hall: Eric Adams, Borough President, and Commissioner of Veteran Affairs, Loree Sutton, MD, Brigadier General US Army Ret. spoke about housing and jobs for veterans. The transit Authority and the NYC Police Department are both hiring, but Sheridan said he is happy in retirement, teaching JHP programs and doing photography. His goal is to make each photograph museum quality.
JHP honored the Commissioner on October 19th at our annual benefit auction. She is such a fabulous speaker; our guests were ready to enlist! Sheridan said that he is proud of her as a veteran, especially her energy and her positivity. She has made great strides in eradicating veteran homelessness in NYC and in creating jobs for veterans. When I asked what else she could do to help NYC veterans, Sheridan liked the idea of a Museum for veteran’s art.
Last Veteran’s Day, Sheridan and I and a few others spoke about the JHP programs to veterans at St. Francis College. When I asked about his Veteran’s Day agenda for this year, he said he’d be at the Brooklyn Mall: Applebee’s, Red Lobster and Olive Garden providing free dining for Veterans. He also has a dinner to attend on Long Island, hosted by the Knights of Columbus.
– Maureen McNeil, Executive Director
Photograph by: Sheridan Dean
Photograph by: Sheridan Dean
Photograph by: Sheridan Dean
Top Photograph by: Camille Tokerud
JHP is thrilled that one of the members of our photography community, Peter Neumann, had an exhibition of his work at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office through May. Peter also spoke about his work at the Arts Spring Mixer for arts organizations and schools held at the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and hosted by Gale Brewer on May 27th. Congratulations Peter!
You can see more of Peter’s work on his website www.peterneumann.com.
Josephine Herrick Supports the Light It Up Blue campaign bringing awareness to people on the autism spectrum.
Every April 2nd, Autism Speaks celebrates World Autism Awareness Day with a global autism awareness campaign called Light It Up Blue. It’s easy (and fun!) to be an advocate — you can do anything from wearing blue to lighting your whole office or school up blue. To Learn more visit www.autismspeaks.org and don’t forget to add #LIUB to any photos you post on your social media!
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.
Josephine Herrick Project teaches photography to participants on the spectrum from kindergarten through college. Recently, our photographers attended a professional development workshop on working with People on the spectrum hosted by our community partner, Ryan Wecker, an expert from the OASIS program at Pace University. The OASIS Program provides support for college students on the spectrum who are able to take regular college courses yet may have difficulty with the social interactions that accompany attending a university. JHP photographers worked with OASIS students last summer and are gearing up for another summer program in 2015.
Here are some snapshots from last summer’s program:
– Elana Hart, Development Director
Photographer Needed Posting:
RevealNYC is a non-profit organization that works with 5 prominent New York City shelters to provide services that foster uplifting experiences for women healing from domestic violence. Services include our annual Valentine’s Day makeover event and monthly health/fitness/career workshops. For more information visit: www.Revealnyc.org
On Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, Reveal is hosting the annual Valentine’s Day Makeover Event in which 75 recovering women will receive individual consultations with top industry professionals in skin care, makeup, hair, fashion/wardrobe, and nails in a effort to restore self-confidence, dignity and beauty. (see videos from the 2013 and 2012 makeover events, http://vimeo.com/62099937 and http://vimeo.com/42852632
We are looking for a second “glamour shot” photographer to volunteer for the day to take a beauty shots of approximately 35 women after they have finished their makeover.
For more information, email Trevor Richardson at: email@example.com
“The joy I am receiving by helping these girls is so unique. I see students connecting to each other and to the world through their cameras” – Amy Postle
After spending the past year admiring the work of Rehabilitation Through Photography, I am very proud to now be one of RTP’s active volunteer photographers! I am currently teaching photography to a group of 10 emotionally challenged teenage girls, at the Marilyn David IVDU School, in Brooklyn. My class not only helps to teach the girls the basics of photography, but is aimed at enhancing life skills, while encouraging them to express themselves creatively.
So far, our two classes have been exciting, full of energy, and the girls are clearly intrigued by the opportunity. The highlight of my first class was a breakthrough I had with one of the students, Tahilla. Having been warned of her intense shyness, it was an overwhelming feeling to have her engage, ask questions, and be very focused. Watching her explore the room with her camera was equally exciting. She was drawn to shapes, color, and she, who had never even held a camera before, by far captured the most creative images of the day.
RTP has been partnering with veterans since WWII. The veterans administration believes that as a form of rehabilitation, art therapy promotes social skills and cognitive and physical functioning. Today RTP provides free photography classes to veterans at the VA Hospital in Brooklyn taught by professional photographer, Camille Tokerud. The course acquaints students with the basics of capturing imagaes through hands-on work with a digital camera. Weekly engaging and diverse theories include topics such as portrait, still life, architecture, landscape, photojournalism and fine art photography. During shooting assignments, students learn about photographic techniques and equipment including focal length, aperture, shutter speed, ISO exposure and light inside and outside.
Beryl Brenner, recreation & creative arts therapist at the VA Hospital in Brooklyn, was instrumental in making the program happen this year. The VA Hospital in Brooklyn has a long history with RTP. Our first program at the VA Hospital in Brooklyn started in 1941! Read more
RTP volunteer photographer, Louisa Marie Summer exhibit “Jennifer’s Family” plays an important role as a “social conscience” that can change people’s views and raise awareness.
From Ober Gallery
I was introduced to the work of the German photographer, Louisa Marie Summer, by my friend Ray Learsy, the well known collector of contemporary art and board member of the Whitney Museum. Ray spoke very highly of Louisa’s work. In fact, I have never heard Ray speak so glowingly of an artist. My reaction to Louisa’s work was similar to Ray’s. I was not only struck by the raw and beautiful power of her photographs, but by the quiet dignity that underpins them. Read more
RTP recently launched a new photography program with GallopNYC to help expand their therapeutic horseback riding by adding the ability of the participants to capture the horses and their experiences through the world of digital photography.
GallopNYC (Giving Alternative Learners Uplifting Opportunities, Inc.) provides therapeutic horseback riding to people in New York City, using interaction with horses to promote the growth of functional and mental abilities in a safe, supportive and fun manner. GallopNYC bases its program on good horsemanship, sound riding principles, and therapeutic riding and hippotherapy standards that are approved by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). Read more