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In the Eyes of Our Children: Houston, An American City 6 Years in the Making, Our Houston Project Moves Toward Completion
The Pozos Art Project, Inc, is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation founded by the photographer and Rice University professor Geoff Winningham and the artist Janice Freeman. Since its inception in 2009, the project has provided workshops in the visual arts to children and young adults in Mineral de Pozos, Mexico and in Houston, Texas.
In 2016, The Pozos Art Project is moving toward completion of its first major project in Houston, In the Eyes of Our Children: Houston, An American City. This exciting project began in the spring of 2011, when Houston Grand Opera invited The Pozos Art Project and the Center for Education at Rice University to join in an intercontinental art project called “Home + Place.” The two-part goal of HGO’s proposed project was to teach photography to a diverse range of school-age children in Houston, then assist them in photographing their “Home + Place” in the city. Utilizing the existing school contacts of Rice’s Center for Education and drawing on the Pozos Art Project’s experience in teaching photography to young children, the project proved to be a resounding success, culminating in an exhibition of photographs by thirty-four children from four Houston schools at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH).
Since the MFAH show in 2011, the Pozos Art project has continued to work with Houston area schools, funding the ongoing project and offering photography workshops to children in six elementary and middle schools, while expanding photo-documentation of the greater Houston area, through the eyes of its children.
A major exhibition of the best of the children’s photographs from the project is planned to open at Rice University in March of 2017, accompanied by a 240-page, 4-color book of their pictures. This will include work from our recent 2016 Summer Workshops.
For additional information or to offer support for the project, please contact Geoff Winningham via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: (832) 721-6958.
The Nature of Children and Art
In 2008, the noted poet and Jungian analyst Pittman McGehee, wrote this preface for the catalog to the first exhibition of children’s art from The Pozos Art Project. The exhibition opened at The Jung Center of Houston for FotoFest of 2008 then, over the next three years, traveled to museums in the United States and Mexico.
The archetypal idea that connects childhood with nearness to deity is expressed in Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality:”
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The soul that rises with us, our life’s Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting, And cometh from afar; Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
C. G. Jung writes: “The artist seizes on [an] image, and raising it from deepest unconsciousness he brings it into relation with conscious values, thereby transforming it until it can be accepted by the minds of his contemporaries according to their power.” And so, too, the Rabbi Jesus admonishes that we must become like a child in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
The assumption, then, is that children are developmentally closer to the unconscious than adults, which would lead us to believe that their art comes with an honesty and authenticity because there is less ego to be involved. The enemy of art is pretense.
The evidence of this wonderful show gives credence to the theory that children are closer to the source. We can call it divine, transcendent, the force, the source, the Muse, or the Self, but whatever we call it, that is what we sense in these pictures. These photographs and monotypes give us images that carry something of the archetypal innocence, curiosity, and authenticity of the child. And they encourage us adults to discover that “puer aeternis” (eternal child) in each of us. This project brings us pure art, where the extraordinary is seen in the ordinary.
- Pittman McGehee
Board of Directors of The Pozos Art Project, Inc.
Travis Broesche - Houston Susan M. Edwards - Houston Janice Freeman - Houston/Pozos Geoff Winningham - Houston/Pozos David Winslow - Pozos