Kayry Gonzalez ’16 displayed her Senior Photography Exhibition in the upstairs gallery on May 17 as the final Photography Senior Show Exhibition of the 2015-16 school year.
Gonzalez featured portraits of the entire senior class in her photography show, which she has been working on since January.
“My inspiration first came from my music. My preference in music is the soothing jazz of the 40’s, jolty doo-wop of the 50’s and the lively Motown 60’s,” Gonzalez wrote in her artist statement.
Gonzalez was inspired by the founding of the American record company Motown, which was established in 1959 to provide African-American music artists with the ability to showcase their musical talent, who otherwise would have faced racial discrimination in the music industry.
“I looked up 40s, 50s [and] 60s portraiture and only came up with beautiful, white women, and noticed the lack of people of color,” Gonzalez said. “A big part of my life is devoted to acknowledging and appreciating the beauty of the minorities in our country, being part of it myself. So, more than just taking pictures of my friends to allude to an era, I wanted to focus on the beauty and difference of the ethnicities in my grade.”
Gonzalez first began working with three seniors to photograph. She then expanded her project to five seniors, and then to seven.
“This project started out as a simple assignment, with seven girls, where I dressed each one with 40’s, 50’s or 60’s clothes, makeup and hair,” Gonzalez wrote. “But, I kept failing to equally represent all the ethnicities in my grade, so I decided to expand the project to acknowledge the beauty of everyone in my grade. Although a lot of have similar identities, no two students are alike, not even the twins.”
Throughout the second semester, Gonzalez individually met with every senior to schedule a photo shoot and to redo any photographs if necessary.
Once all the portraits were finalized and framed, Gonzalez hung the photographs grouped by senior advisories. Gonzalez also included a portrait of herself, which was photographed by Haley Jamieson ’16.
At the opening of the exhibition, many seniors were overcome with emotion and shed tears when they saw Gonzalez’s final product.