Important lessons from an award winning photographer and visual artist.
Learning how to express ourselves seems like an easy and logical thing we should all know but sometimes putting our words out there is harder than it seems. Mrs. Viera's fifth-grade class had the privilege of zooming with Mr. Clifton Henri, an Award-Winning Photographer & Visual Artists from Chicago, IL to talk about how he uses his emotions and storytelling in his work.
In Mr. Clifton's own words "My practice is heavily rooted in identity, under-representation, and self-declaration. Intentionally focusing on portraits of Black and Brown people and the environments they live in, I visually illustrate and narrate the African diaspora using my own personal experiences and feelings as fuel." With the goal of creating art that black and brown people can see themselves in, Mr. Henri set out to tell his story, while accomplishing this goal.
Not only do Mr. Henri's photos showcase the concept of belonging to a community, but they also showcase places that he is drawn to. "Spending time in environments that have texture and help to tell the story feel like home to me," says Mr. Henri. His advice to the students who want to pursue their own artistry is to "find what speaks to you. Don't worry about what's popular. The purpose and intention of your art sometimes ends up being more important than what you produce."
Mrs. Viera's class is so grateful that Mr. Henri could spend time with their class today talking about his artistry and answering their questions about how he gets inspired to shoot his photography.