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Students see photography’s impact

Docent Jo Rape leads a group of fifth-graders through the “Looking through the Lens” exhibit at the Johnson Center. (Photo/Jaine Treadwell)

About 80, fifth-grade students from Goshen Elementary School visited the Johnson Center for the Arts on Friday afternoon to view the “Looking Through the Lens” photography exhibition that includes the works of two local photographers, Holman Johnson of Troy and D.L. Hightower of Clayton. Their photography spans nearly 100 years of the past century.

“The school visits are a part of our Art Bridges program,” said Richard Metzger, museum executive director. “The program is designed to put gallery docents in the classrooms to explain to the students what they are going to see when they visit the ‘Looking Through the Lens’ exhibition and how it fits in their language arts and science curriculums.”

The exhibition tour will reinforce the state mandated standards in language arts, as will the follow-up visits by the docents.

Jo Rape, docent, explained to the students the importance of photography, as an art form and as a way to make memories.

“A photograph captures one moment in time,” she said. “The photographs by these two photographers have made memories for people like me who remember these times and they have captured slices of life in Pike County the way it was many years ago for others to see.”

Metzger said the follow-up school visits in January will include hands-on activities.

“The hands-on activities will include an art piece with a sun print, collage or drawing on one side and a poem, song, essay or haiku on the other,” he said. “These activities will also be incorporated into the language arts standards.”

The “Looking Through the Lens” exhibition will close on Nov. 13 and will then become a traveling exhibit.

“This exhibit has been very successful,” Metzger said. “Local interest has been high. And, we’ve also had a lot of out of town traffic, especially when people are back home visiting relatives and friends. We still have several large school groups on schedule for next week so we expect a large number of visitors to the Johnson Center during the last week of the exhibition.”

The Johnson Center for the Arts is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.