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Museum Minute: Athens Through Our Eyes

Reckonings and Reconstruction Audio Tour

Sometimes a community is best seen through the eyes of its young people. In November, alongside its exhibition of southern photography, the museum organized a student photography contest with the Clarke County School District. This contest invited local teens to capture their community experience and respond to the theme “What does living in Athens in 2022 look like to you?” 

Callan Steinmann, the museum’s curator of education, and Sage Kincaid, associate curator of education, selected 21 photographs by middle schoolers and high schoolers for display in the museum’s education resource center in the exhibition “Athens Through Our Eyes.” In the winning submissions, students shared moments with loved ones and unique glimpses of iconic Athens locales. Steinmann said, “Many of the photographs dealt with common themes of friendship and the importance of family and community. Some of the artists also talked about UGA and its looming presence in town but wanted to express that there's more to Athens than just the university and football.”  

The contest accompanied the exhibition “Reckonings and Reconstructions: Southern Photography from the Do Good Fund,” and the student work reflected the themes of that exhibition. Steinmann said, “There are as many ways to be ‘southern’ as there are southerners, and I think you could say the same for teenagers in Athens.” 

The opening reception for “Athens Through Our Eyes” took place in November as part of UGA’s Spotlight on the Arts. The on-site exhibition is closed now, but you can view the winning submissions as an online exhibition on the museum’s website.