The Chronicles of Daily Life Photography Project adapted to the stay-at-home requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using Zoom, the class was able to engage participants from Center on the Square Senior Center which included residents of Greenwich Village as well as residents of other parts of New York City. In addition, this online method can involve participants who otherwise might have found it challenging to travel.
Themes of daily life during this time include ways to become better observers of the details of life at home, looking at objects, rooms and more with thoughtfulness, an appreciation of the beauty found all around us, a sometimes intimate view shared with others and a sense of humor.
With the purpose of developing a heightened awareness of the beauty and the potential of careful observation as well as creative efforts by each participant, we began by looking at 17th century Dutch interiors. The careful observation of light and the meaning of each object in the painter's work began to give participants new ways to see their own environment. The first assignment was Doors and Doorways and subsequent assignments moved from observation to invention.
Class discussions, led by instructor Janis Lewin, involved many participants and once again proved that that art can foster and create a lively community, even under these constrained circumstances.
Janis Lewin is a photographer and educator living in NYC. Through traveling and documentary work, she has developed travel workshops as well as independent classes. Teaching through The Creative Center and the NYC Su Casa Program for Seniors in Manhattan, is one way Janis has been able to reach out to a variety of communities in New York. She reliably brings aspects of her art history background (BA, University of California, Berkeley) to photography students at every level. Her photography workshops in Cuba have been particularly exciting due to her many years of travel to the island. Private workshops offer individuals and small group access and experience in uncounted ways.