Dittmar exhibit focuses on poverty
The portraits featured in the Dittmar Memorial Gallery’s second winter 2007 exhibition “Stories of the City,” by the Sixth Street Photography Workshop (SSPW) are part of an ongoing project involving San Francisco residents who have experienced poverty or homelessness first hand.
“Stories of the City,” which opens Feb. 14 and runs through March 16, and an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 22, are both free and open to the public. Tom Ferentz, founder and director of SSPW will be the featured guest at the reception.
San Francisco’s Sixth Street Photography Workshop is a highly respected program that shares the art and skills of photography with impoverished and homeless people. Ferentz, an award-winning photographer who teaches photography at the University of San Francisco, launched SSPW in 1991. Staff, volunteer photographers and students assist Ferentz.
The photographs featured at Dittmar are of residents of single resident occupancy hotels and traditional housing. They were taken by advanced photographers with the workshop, by Ferentz, local residents that are mainly teenagers, volunteer photographers, photography students and photographer and former SSPW Project Director Amanda Herman.
Public art exhibitions and projects are central to realizing the SSPW’s mission, along with consistent free instruction and support for its participants. The traveling exhibition at the Dittmar is part of the workshop’s goal to share its 13-year archive of images documenting the city’s low-income and homeless community.