This spring, 16 senior secondary students worked with photographer Mike Wakefield, art teachers Daylen Luchsinger and Kory Bogen, and studio assistant Emily Neufeld in our three-day Photography Enrichment program. "We worked on an industrial historical theme this year," says Mike Wakefield. "We focused on capturing the vanishing industry on the North Shore and how it's changing Vancouver.
The first day, they visited the artists' warehouse at 1000 Parker in Vancouver and visited Jud Beaumont's studio Straight Line Design. They saw, first-hand, the work our artist partner creates and his workspace. "We're they're every day," says Jud, "but the students came in and immediately saw things that we take for granted. And they were inspired by it. It was great to have them see where and how we work." The students then visited CRAB Park at the Vancouver Waterfront and captured its views of the working port before returning to the North Shore.
On the second day, the students took a tour of the Columbian tall ship "Gloria" that was docked in North Vancouver. Then donning hard hats and steel-toed boots, safety glasses, earplugs and high-visibility vests, they had an extensive tour of Seaspan's shipyards. "It's a working shipyard," says Mike, "and one of the last examples of heavy industry on the North Shore. At Seaspan, they have keel blocks they use that date back 40 or 50 years. The patina on the walls, and some of the tools they still use, just screams history. I told the students that it's hard to see history around you when you're living it, but when you look back at these images even just 20 years from now, you're going to see the history around you."
The students also captured the graffiti below the north side of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. "It's the underbelly of the North Shore that you don't find, unless you look for it," Mike says.
On the third day, the students took a bus to Function Junction, to photograph the remains of the train wreck near Whistler. The train wreck happened in the 1950s, and the seven derailed and abandoned boxcars have been turned into a destination for hikers and in our case, photographers.
Mike Wakefield is a fine art photographer who has had a long relationship with AFK through his work at the North Shore News. "He brings a great, working perspective of the art to the students, and helps them discover their own distinct style while building on their skills," says Daylen Luchsinger, Program Co-ordinator of AFK.
To support our photography enrichment program, we are delighted to have received a gift of $10,000 capital grant from the provincial government. The grant will be used to purchase equipment that will elevate and sustain the program.
Watch the North Shore News for a selection of the students' works, to be published in June, 2017.