A day out with First Exposures, a San Francisco-based, nationally recognized youth mentoring program that strives to make a major long-term difference in the lives of high-need, underserved San Francisco Bay Area youth by providing a venue for them to enhance their self-confidence, develop their creativity, and gain a passion for learning.
Another school year has kicked off and that means that another year of First Exposures has kicked off as well. As a long-time mentor in the program, we’ve seen it grow over the years and this year has a ton of new faces. It’s great to see this program growing and after our second class of the year, things are already starting to gel between the mentors and mentees. (If you want to help out, any donations are welcome – donate here)
This past weekend we got to hear from Gerald Slota who presented his work that’s currently on display at SF Camerawork and afterwards went to the Stephen Wirtz gallery where Julie Casemore of the gallery gave us an overview of some of the work currently on display including works by Larry Sultan, Jim Goldberg, Todd Hido, Daido Moriyama and Melanie Pullen. Personally, I was most intrigued by Pullen’s work since I hadn’t seen it before and she has a book, High Fashion Crime Scenes with her complete series available at the gallery. The work, of which one print is on display at the gallery, shows reconstructed crime scenes of models wearing high fashion couture. It’s much more layered and deep but just go check it out yourself to see for yourself.
Finally we had lunch at Yerba Buena Gardens and had a photo hunt looking for letters that our groups were tasked with finding and photographing with Polaroids. When we returned from the hunt the letters were rearranged into a phrase that spelled a message out (original Instagram image):
Last Thursday was the benefit auction for the First Exposures mentoring program at SF Camerawork and the fundraiser raised over $60,000 – the biggest fundraiser to date! We had a packed house at the gallery and there was a lot of great work up. Alan Bamberger made an appearance as did a ton of others there to support the program. Having been a mentor for over four years, it was great to see such a big turnout for the kids who all seemed to be having a great time.
As Erik Auerbach, Director of Education, stated: “Your generosity enables us to continue providing essential one-to-one photography mentoring to underserved Bay Area youth. Your contributions help us provide a creative outlet to these deserving young artists. Thank you for being a part of our critical work. We couldn’t have achieved this success without your commitment to arts education in San Francisco.”