Life in Contrast: Becoming More

2022 Project: Identity Photography Virtual Gallery

2022 Project Identity Virtual Gallery

For the emerging artists in this group

Project: Identity not only offered opportunity to explore a new creative medium, but a chance to gather safely in a group of their peers after a long period of isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The transition required adjustment and a re-learning of old social skills while at the same time learning new technical skills in photography. As the weeks went on, we saw students growing more comfortable and confident with the camera, as well as with each other.

Throughout the ten-week program, students explored:

+ Photography as a form of self-expression and communication, encouraging students to seek the subjects that inspired them to tell their own meaningful stories.

+ Topics such as: camera functionality, composition, landscape, portraiture, long exposure night photography, and digital photo editing using Photoshop.

+Weekly critiques, learning how to both give and receive constructive criticism of their work.

Project: Identity culminated in a final exhibition of work at the Conservatory at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Each student presented three large-scale photographs to exhibit and had the opportunity to talk with patrons about their concepts and methods. The exhibition was a celebration of work and newfound friendships cultivated during their time together in the program. A digital version of this exhibition is available below.

Please enjoy this short video of Project: Identity Photography, created by program intern Hannah:



Shaun Gillen

Shaun Gillen graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design, with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography. He later founded Tandem Design, a small multidisciplinary communications studio forged on the principles of promoting progressive causes. Over the past 10 years as a professional photographer and videographer in New York City, Shaun has shot a wide range of subject matter, promoting everything from startup companies and progressive candidates to prominent real estate addresses and fortune 500 executives. He now resides full time with his partner upstate in Hortonville, New York.

Kaitlyn Danielson

Kaitlyn Danielson is a photographic artist based in Narrowsburg, New York. She holds a BFA in Photography & Video from the School of Visual Arts, where she was awarded the Alumni Scholarship and the Rhodes Family Award for Outstanding Students. In 2018, her work won the Abstract/Mixed Media category of PDN’s The Curator competition. Kaitlyn's artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States and featured on platforms such as Musee' Magazine and Lenscratch.

Candace Rivela

Program Manager

Candace Rivela has been the Lead Teaching Artist in the Museum Education and Creative Programs department at Bethel Woods since 2018. She received a BS in Fine Arts from SUNY New Paltz and a Masters degree in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute. Candace is a licensed, board-certified Creative Arts Therapist and brings her unique perspective on the healing power of the arts to her work at Bethel Woods.

Funding for Project Identity Photography has been provided in part by the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation and by Bethel Woods Center for the Arts members and donors. To learn more about supporting programs at Bethel Woods, please click here.