Photographer Sudharak Olwe leads Getty Programs for Southland High School and College Students

ndian photographer Sudharak Olwe joins the J. Paul Getty Museum this fall to work with young people on two photography projects inspired by the Getty’s exhibition Engaged Observers: Documentary Photography Since the Sixties, currently on view until November 14, 2010.

Olwe works in the documentary tradition established by many of the photographers featured in Engaged Observers. He has published photographic essays on subjects such as sanitation workers and prostitutes in Mumbai, India, and midwifery in Jharkhand, an eastern state of India.

“I’m delighted to have this opportunity to work with both high school and college students at the Getty,” says Olwe. “It will be rewarding to help students understand documentary photography and motivate them to create their own photographs.”

Olwe will work with Venice High School students on a project called Now See Here, in which students will document the social issues that affect their lives.

The high school project is part of Community Photoworks, an annual program initiated in 2005 by the Getty Museum and 826LA, a non-profit writing/tutoring center dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills. Community Photoworks introduces Los Angeles students to the art of photography through workshops and discussions with artists and in-classroom activities. The culmination of this year’s project will be an exhibition of the students’ work at The Social and Public Art Resource Center in Venice (SPARC) from November 29 to December 3, 2010. An opening event will take place at SPARC on Monday, November 29, from 7pm-9pm.

“Community Photoworks is designed to help students build critical looking skills through the medium of photography, and, ultimately, raise their awareness of the conscious choices people make in the creation of visual culture,” explains Ami Davis, the Getty Museum’s education specialist for school programs. As part of the program, the Getty provides lesson plans, art supplies, bus transportation, and training for staff and teachers.

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