Bringing Joy To Urban Youth
As a community pastor, (Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.), I served a congregation in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Our community transformation efforts were blessed when our neighborhood children were photographed by renowned photographer Judith Joy Ross. I was delighted that our transformation success caught the attention of Ms. Ross as an urban photography site. The children and their parents participated so enthusiastically in the two-week long portrait project. Ms. Ross used her 8 x 10-inch camera which fascinated the children (who rarely stood still!) and they marveled as she disappeared under the light-tight drape behind the lens as the photos were captured. The development process known as printing-out paper prints captivated the older youth.
I am grateful to Judith Joy Ross for investing her artist spirit in our community, and we count ourselves honored to have her eyes through the lens pointed our way for those very special days. The gifts of her photographs inspired our children, who were engaged in their own crayon drawings that I initiated for my doctoral project. I lost touch with Ms. Ross and appreciate the opportunity to share my story with the artsy.net community. Photos Ms. Ross took were displayed in a gallery in our church for the kids, and shared with their families, and the community, which generated a great deal of joy!
The Rev. Dr. Kevin Yoho, Newark, New Jersey