Art Residency at Clay High School

Photographer Gary Harwood will work with art students at Clay High School this fall to assist in developing their photography and editing skills, and create visual images that tell a story in a project titled “In This Place.”

Harwood is a photographer, social documentarian, and visual storyteller from Kent, Ohio. He has taught photography at Kent State for over 20 years, and is co-author (with David Hassler) of the book, “Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community.”


“It is my belief that storytelling is a foundational communication skill and for me, this is especially true when combined with photography. I believe visual storytelling is a universal language that should be introduced to students of all ages. This could be a classroom experience or a project-based community experience,” he said. 

Under Harwood’s creative direction, art students in teacher Tiffany Moore’s classroom at Clay High School will be encouraged to create images that inspire hope and joy within their community. The images created by the students will either become part of a permanent display at Southern Ohio Medical Center's Cancer Center, or be assembled into a book and printed for the cancer patients to look at and contemplate during their treatments and doctor visits. Graphic designer Kelly Babcock will assist students creating the book. 

“I want students to have their own unique storytelling experience through photography and develop their own approach and vision for their work,” Harwood said. “I also want them to recognize their distinct talents and abilities in the process. It is my goal to provide an environment for self-discovery, passion and an appreciation for photography as a language.”

Harwood’s residency will begin on Sept. 19 and end on Dec. 6, with an Artists' Reception at Clay High School at 5:30 p.m. The reception will be free and open to the public. 

This project is coordinated by Sharee Price, gifted services coordinator at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, in New Boston, and is supported by the Ohio Arts Council, The Scioto Foundation, Rotary Club of Portsmouth, and SOMC. 

"Students creating positive images of their community." 11 Sept. 2017. 18 Sept. 2017. <>.

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