Firehouse Cultural Center introduces teens to photography as experimental art

James Reiman, lead photography instructor at the Art Institute of Tampa, is teaching a six-week course for teenagers on experimental processes of photography.  The course is sponsored by the Tampa Museum of Art.  A few slots may still be available for the five remaining weeks of the course. Mitch Traphagen Photo

James Reiman, lead photography instructor at the Art Institute of Tampa, is teaching a six-week course for teenagers on experimental processes of photography. The course is sponsored by the Tampa Museum of Art. A few slots may still be available for the five remaining weeks of the course. Mitch Traphagen Photo

RUSKIN – Prior to renowned photographer Ansel Adams, photography struggled as an art form. Few museums would consider photographs worthy of exhibition alongside the works of the great masters of oil and watercolor. As photography matured and Adams produced images that have become American icons, things have changed dramatically. Photography, the capturing of a moment in time, is more than mere snapshots. It is expression and art and, in many cases, brings feeling and color to otherwise colorless print of news and events.

Thanks to sponsorship by the Tampa Museum of Art, teenagers in South Hillsborough have the opportunity to be exposed to the creative possibilities offered by photography during a six-week course at the Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin. The course, held on Mondays from 3 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. began on January 28 and runs through March 4. The fee for the course is $45 for cultural center members and $55 for non-members. According to staff, there are still one or two openings for the remaining five weeks of the course.

The course is billed as Intro to Experimental Processes and is taught by James Reiman, lead photography instructor at the Art Institute of Tampa. With a bachelor’s degree in photography from Washington State and a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of South Florida, Reiman explores his own fears and triumphs through his photography.

“In my experience, empathy is one of the most valued traits an instructor can possess,” he stated in his biography. “The ability to listen and understand a student’s point of view is crucial to maintaining a nurturing environment that is both challenging and rewarding.”

During the six-week course, designed to be both fun and immersive, students will, according to the Firehouse Cultural Center, try out lights, cameras and experimental processes to create photographs that explore the idea of narrative and photographic self-expression.

Such a goal is Reiman’s forte. With cameras on cell phones being nearly ubiquitous, the opportunity for young people to develop skills to express their own vision and to capture what they alone can see is an opportunity to stand apart from the millions of photos on Facebook, Instagram and other websites.

For more information, visit the Firehouse Cultural Center at www.firehouseculturalcenter.org.

For more about course instructor James Reiman, visit www.jamesreiman.com.

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