Mariana Ramirez, 16, never thought that artificial flowers would be the essence of her photograph displayed at the Miami Pablove Shutterbugs Gallery Show.
“I had some fake flowers in my room, it was midnight and I didn’t know what to do for the photo assignment,” Mariana said. “I played around with it and ended up with a nice picture.”
Taking Risks is the title of Mariana’s photograph.
“In your life you have to take a lot of risks and they might come out beautiful or not and this one came out beautiful,” she said.
The Pablove Shutterbugs Photography Program on Saturday held its first end-of-the-school-year gallery show at The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University.
“It is aligned with our mission, to welcome the community and being a resource to the community through the language of art,” said Miriam Machado, curator for The Frost Museum at FIU.
The program was offered in fall 2014 and spring 2015.
“This is a culmination of both classes, we present one photograph of each student in a professional gallery where they are appreciated and honored as the artists they have become,” said Jo Ann Thrailkill, founder of the Pablove Foundation.
The Pablove Foundation, a nonprofit that helps bring awareness to childhood cancer through arts and education, funds the Pablove Shutterbugs and was awarded a grant by the LIVESTRONG foundation to expand its reach to 12 new communities, including Miami, with The Art Shack Doral as a site partner.
The children were given a camera and taught by Kelsa Bartley, 34, a local teaching artist from the community.
According to Bartley, photography allows the children to learn something different and see things from a different perspective.
“During the second or third week, I teach them different techniques and the kids start experimenting with their cameras,” Bartley said. “They forget about the treatments they have to go through or have gone through.”
For Alejandra Villa, 7, her favorite Saturday class was with the glow-in-the-dark lights.
“We had glow-in-the-dark bracelets,” said Alejandra, who was posing under her photograph. “I just took the picture and I really liked it.”
Alma Touzon, 53, was a volunteer for the Miami Pablove Shutterbugs program all year.
Touzon likes to compare the children’s reactions from the first day to the last day.
“Every week the kids transformed,” Touzon said. “Having this open exhibition for them is great because we are celebrating what they have learned and created.”
At the event, attendees were able to purchase prints for $100.
“All proceeds go directly to the Pablove Foundation’s programming and continuing our Shutterbug’s classes,” said Raul Lorenzana, regional manager of the Pablove Shutterbugs Program.
How to purchase
To purchase prints and support the Pablove Shutterbugs Photography Program, visit Shop.Pablove.Org.