Westport Art Center Opens “Kid Kulture” Exhibit, Features Local Young Adults

Photo by Helen Klisser-During and Carlie Schwaeber ’12

The Westport Art Center (WAC) was packed with people on Dec. 10 for the opening of Kid Kulture exhibit. The walls were neatly and strategically scattered with pictures taken by famous twentieth-century photographers next to pictures taken by today’s kids.

Out of the 118 kids who entered the Kid Kulture contest, 41 were selected by juror Karen Marks, the Director of the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City. The center presented the work of the remaining 77 kids on a continuous slide show set up at the exhibit.

“We wanted to make sure every kid was in the show,” said Alyssa Crouse, the marketing director of the WAC.

The exhibit allowed viewers to see through the eyes of a child, or rather the lens. The exhibit presented mostly photography, all of which revolved around kids.

Many of the pictures were taken by kids ranging from ages five to 18. The variety of ages also allowed viewers to see how different age groups view the world.

One of the younger photographers was six-year-old Amelia Galin, who took a picture called “Hulahoops.”

The picture shows two children with hula hoops revolving around their waists at almost the same angle, their concentrating faces showing their attemptto keep the hula hoop from falling, and the lighting and contrast striking.

Helen Klisser During, WAC Director of Visual Arts and curator of the exhibit, learned the inspiring effect of a picture taken by a child when she took a trip to Haiti. She brought 50 cameras for the children to take pictures with and put the pictures into a pocket-sized book called “Hope in Haiti.”

“That kind of showed me very quickly how powerful a child’s view is,” During said.

She found it interesting how both the pictures taken by children and pictures taken by twentieth-century photographers had similarities, but also many differences.

For example, the pictures taken by children had a more immediate and fresh feel to them.

Carson Einarsen ’12 was one of the young artists selected to present his work at the event. Einarsen has been working on a project that will last for 365 days, called “Facebook fACEs”. This project allows him to take different profile pictures on Facebook and draw them in five to ten minutes.

He had originally planned to look into the Westport Public Library or the WAC to display his project, which led him to contact During. After a few emails back and forth, During and Einarsen met up to talk about his project.

“After showing her [During] some of the actual pieces she suggested that my artwork be the Studio show for the Kid Kulture exhibit. Needless to say, I was ecstatic,” Einarsen said.

For those interested in going to Kid Kulture, the exhibit will be open until Feb. 20. Visit westportartcenter.org for the gallery hours and more information.