Focus on Youth: APS Student Photographers

“Showing my eyes to the world”…The Focus on Youth exhibition showcases the creativity and insights of Albuquerque High School Photographers.

AIRED: September 04, 2021 | 0:27:01

Frederick Hammersley Foundation

New Mexico PBS Great Southwestern Arts & Education

Endowment Fund at the Albuquerque Community Foundation

...and Viewers Like You.














>>Josh Garcia: I think focus on youth is just

super important to our community.

It's a chance for our students to show their work to everybody

and it's a chance for everyone to come and see what's going

on in school and see what our kids are thinking.

>> Haiden Gould: A photograph to me is like a nostalgic memory,

like, you could take it once and that shot

will always stay forever with you.

>> Luke McDonald: Photography to me is an art.

It's meant to tell a story of what I'm doing

or where I'm doing it.

It's meant to capture the moments that I want to

>> Kylan Yazzie: What photography means to me is being

able to show your point of view of the world to others.

>>Vy Nguyen: Photography to me is a way to capture like

a beautiful like daily moments in life and beautiful scenery.

>>Josh Garcia: What I really enjoy about teaching

is that aha moment, but also just seeing them develop

and grow over the years that I couldn't work with them.

>> Previn Hudetz: One of the wonderful things about

teaching photography is we get to teach people how to

be more creative with something that they're

familiar with and how to really take that

creativity to the next level of applying the new

tools, the new skills, the new knowledge that they

will obtain in our classes.

The focus on youth exhibition is a great way to see

where the students are in terms of their artistic development.

It's inspiring not only for the community but also

for other kids to see that this sort of thing's possible.

>>Haiden Gould: What made me want to tell the story

is, I felt like a sort of like connection because I

felt like in the time, in my place I felt at that

state of mind where the guy was just really in the

dark place it feels like.

I was driving during taking the shot.

All of a sudden I just see this man sit on the curb

outside of the store and I literally stopped in the

middle of traffic and I hurried up and took a

picture and the first two came out so blurry but

thankfully the last shot came out so perfect and it

really just captured the moment.

>>Luke McDonald: I feel like when I take the photo,

I take a picture of that moment that I will never get back.

That's my best friend and we were we were on the

rock, you know, listen to our favorite music and we

were watching the sunset and sunset was incredible

and there was just one giant rock and it's just,

it's unbelievable how that happens and taking photos of the

planet's beauty is something that's really fun to do.

>>Vy Nguyen: My photography teacher

designed a work that we have to do with thermal color.

I was passing through that area and I noticed just

how the lights, how they were angled the light

would give out the more warmth color everything

other dark would give it more blue or like dark

tones and that it would be an interesting photograph

because your eyes would follow the lights.

>> Kylan Yazzie: This was during a trip that we took and

we went into um like a canyon and I thought it was amazing.

It was like one of the most beautiful sights I've

ever seen, like, how deep it was and the lines that were

going through the canyon showing just how old it was.

My dad actually told me to take a picture of him and

so I thought it'd be cool to do, like, a little tiny

photo shoot, making him the focal point where the

lines are just going straight towards him.

Recently he's been working out of town a lot so I

kind of like to think about it is that even

though he may be away a lot of the times he's and

I might not see his face he's still there.

>>Josh Garcia: I think expression for teenage

students is really important because they

have to - they're learning about the world and that's

how you learn about the world is by you know

talking, expressing and trying to put your point

of views out there and then bouncing back off people.

Get that information back to you so you kind of

understand who you are and what the things that

you're creating, like, kind of, can mean and then

getting that reflection back at you and kind of

reinforcing your kind of identity a little bit.

>> Luke McDonald: I think it's a really helps me learn

more about myself and more about those around me.

>>Vy Nguyen: The photos just makes me appreciate my life

a little bit more and what I see a little bit more.

>> Haiden Gould: How I feel like the photography

class has inspired my four-year-old self is by

knowing that anything is possible and that

literally anything is art and that if you mess up

you could literally just work on from that or literally

add on to make it more perfect you know and it kind

of just made me feel like I had a lot of support

>> Kylan Yazzie: Photography to me would be

a way of showing my eyes to the world.

Showing them what I see on a daily basis.


>> Art and drawing and sewing machine it's really

important for me because it has a creations on it

and colorful on it.

I draw with some sketch pencils

and watercolor pencils on my sketchbook.

And sometimes I design some dresses in

graphic art on my computer.

>> I think she's always been a fashionable person.

I think it's right from a very young age, She would

be really cool clothes for herself, sometimes very

flashy because kids go through that stage.

>> A lot she would struggle with her language

and she had pretty limited vocabulary, until I would

say she was even 10 or 12 and would kind of see her

art as her style communicating.

>> First time I saw her drawing was probably when

she was about three years old.

She would just for hours drawing and we would get

her sheaves of paper.

And then when we would pick up the drawings, we

figured out that they were actually telling stories.

Those were the earliest, "Wow" moments, I would

say, in the sense that she did this whole series on

pigs, and there was this character called Piggy and

Piggy would fall in love, Piggy would face rejection.

There was absolutely no formal training in the early years.

>> I liked to watch the fashion shows and I got

inspired from there and I designed some clothes and

I saw lots of clothes.

>> And then when she was about 13 years old,

someone saw her drawings at school and they were

gonna have this fashion show for fashion design students.

So they said she young but her artwork is great.

And we would love to showcase Aarushi's

drawings as dresses in the fashion show.

She drew like four dresses and they converted it into a dress.

And I think that kind of sparked something in her.

>> When she was 13 we actually bought Aarushi her first sewing

We didn't know the source of it, we were not much of help,

but she would learn how to sew from watching YouTube videos.

And she immediately kind of started creating

amazing dresses and she would sketch her designs

first and then create the dresses then.

>> I think I love vintage clothes and I love the

vintage things and sometimes love vintage.

And sometimes I love new fashion look.

>> Special Olympics has been a major influence in her life,

the kind of opportunities she got playing sport.

It just boosted her confidence and her ability to connect with

>> Any sport that I would bring up to her, she was

willing to go and try it.

She managed to go to State competition for stand up paddle,

won gold.

She won gold for Cheerleading Competition.

She won gold for bocce ball.

She was in our basketball team and also swimming.

There was nothing Aarushi would not try.

Her resilience was impeccable.

>> What it helps, athlete like Aarushi is to become

more confident and also to kind of get into a

lifestyle which is more active.

So it's been a life changing experience.

>> Aarushi was one of nine student athletes

throughout the country that were selected for the

Special Olympics USA Game Logo.

They all were flown into Orlando and they were

asked to make their own design.

>> And I designed these 10 logos and I got inspired

by others and other athletes.

>> What the design team did is that they got a

composite of all those logos and they created a

final logo, which is like everybody's voice.

>> Aarushi became the spokesperson and was flown up

I was able to be interviewed live on Fox News and they

presented a USA 2022 Logo for Special Olympics USA Games.

>> Even though Special Olympics seemed to be

something that was doing with her fitness and her sport.

It seemed to open up all of these other avenues in art,

which hadn't before.

>> That Ms. Radigan was helping me to set up my

Aarushi Seamstress Alteration Business.

>> If they needed mending needs, if they needed to

have dresses made, Aarushi had a business right at school,

we had staff, we had students and Aarushi

kept busy daily with different projects that

students and all would ask her to take care of.

>> I think that's where the sense of, "I can sell my work

"and my services, and I can make money out of it."

>> I sell the masks and jewelries in Etsy Shops

and I started in 2019.

People like the designs, it's made me feel happy

I'm decided to go into South Eastern university

at college for people with learning disabilities.

>> This has been my dream.

Aarushi becomes independent and lives by herself,

goes to college.

And it's all coming through because of her

because she aspired for it.

>> It's a very bitter sweet experience for us.

I think we will definitely miss her.

She has this strong urge to be independent, to have

a kind of a full enjoyable life and that's what the

college experience is gonna do for her.

>> I noticed that she has this way of finding

meaning in her own art, which kind of centers her

ability to think that I'm really good and therefore

my life is gonna be good.

Even though that anxiety is there, she's able to

find that anchor again and again and again.

>> And she actually shows us the fact that despite

your neuro diversity, despite your challenges,

how you can be positive, how you can wake up

everyday being happy, looking forward and loving

what you are and loving what you do.

>> My autism it's kind of learning disabilities,

kind of spectrums.

Spectrum means that it's colors on it.

It has the colors on my brain and then visually on

my brain because I have my autism, it has my superpower.


I've been told I'm handsome, I've been told

I'm ugly.

My goal with my art is just to show that black is

beautiful, black isn't ugly.

My name is Nicholas Davis.

I'm a digital artist, I'm 28 years old, and I'm from

St. Petersburg, Florida.

I've drawn all my life, and my family are full of painters.

I started off with portraits, just drawing

random people, and then I learned Scribble,

then CoCreate, and Adobe SketchBook.

I fully believe anything I see mentally, I can draw physically.

It starts off with an idea, and I'm usually

listening to different genres of music from Kanye West to J. Cole

to Jonathan McReynolds to Travis Greene.

It starts off with the lyric and then usually it just,

I just usually go through the whole album,

and my drawing just usually fools around.

I sometimes look around for, like, poses and stuff

like that, just for encouragement.

But the dressing and everything else, I create those on my own.

And I just adjust the image and I throw on some clothes and

I draw them, and I just create the image from there.

One sketch can take me from three hours to five hours.

Usually, I draw about 15 a week.

I draw all day.

I wake up, I draw.

I go to sleep drawing.

I'm unable to work due to my health.

I started having seizures a couple years ago which

prevent me from being able to work.

And all my life I've had a struggle with showing emotions,

talking to people.

I've struggled with depression, anxiety.

And with art, it gave me a chance to express myself,

things I can't say, I can show through my art.

>> He is a gentle giant.

Like, he's very peaceful.

He's very calm and collected, and Nick vents through his art.

Some days you'll see a picture, and he's just

like, I wonder if he had, like, a bad day.

And then you see pictures of stuff and you just,

like, this is overly joyous, or he'll use

mainstream people like Kanye West or Kehinde Wiley.

I know he did a piece of Kerry James Marshall.

And it's just like, you can see his inspiration in things.

And he doesn't have to verbally say them out

loud, but you can, you get to see his thoughts.

And you get to see his heart through his pictures

without him having to open his mouth at all.

>> I've always had a desire to give hope to

people who struggle with mental health and I

believe mental health in the black community is

really not encouraged or shown.

So I try to encourage people to show that.

But with the eyes, I want them to always be looking at you.

To always be showing a message, to show a story.

And I believe with my art, it allows people to be able to

It shows young men crying.

It shows women dressed up nicely.

>> I use this term, like with as much power as possible.

It's so normal.

It doesn't have this, like, hate attached to it.

It doesn't have any negative connotation

attached to it at all.

It's just beauty and, like, light, and it's refreshing.

It's positive.

So people look for black art, and it's just like,

down with the man, black power.

And he's like, no, like, I'm a kid who grew up on a stoop.

And it just makes it so normal and so relatable

and so realistic.

>> He has one piece with the young black woman in

it, and the bus is behind her, and it's like the

first day of school, and you just feel it.

You get it cause she's almost timid, but she's happy.

And he has a great way of expressing a lot of

different emotions in one still moment.

And I just love it.

I absolutely love it.

>> It's not your ordinary.

It's not like this black power movement.

It's like black is beautiful.

We can be soft, gentle creatures.

We are soft, gentle creatures.

We are kind, we are children, we are elder.

We're everything.

We're this force and this movement.

We flow and we can become and evolve into anything.

And I think he shows in his art and his pieces that fluidity.

>> A lot of people are, they come to me saying

they're encouraged, they're inspired by my art.

I've never seen, I guess, the talent in myself.

>> Just watching him evolve over the years from

when we first met, he was 17, and now he's 28.

Just seeing that, like, transformation for him

going to, like, a, just a kid in St. Petersburg,

Florida, making it through school to, like, this

great artist who's so humble and peaceful about everything.

His nature is just, it's mind blowing to see how calm he is.

>> Oh my goodness!

>> I don't see it.

>> When I saw his digital work, I was like, this is great.

Then when I met him, I'm like, you're a teddy bear.

You are the sweetest.

He called me ma'am, and I was like, but sir,

I'm not that old.

He was like, I'm just, I don't, I'm just trying to be.

And he's like that.

Even though his work is, like, super expressive,

him in his own, he's just kind of like a little introvert.

So it's, like, so crazy.

Cause his work speaks volumes, but you can kind

of like see him in his work too, cause it's,

like, quiet statements.

>> It's so hard for me to show emotions, even with

family members, with friends.

Um, with my art, it just, it shows the true me.

It's a new experience, and I'm just grateful to be

able to encourage others.


Three Peak Designs is a company where we source and

refurbish vintage ski lift chairs.

So we source chairs, most of them from the 1970s and

kind of bring them back to life for people's homes.

I think repurposing things in general is a nice way

to reduce waste, but also give life to something

that might seem like it's run its course.

And so I think it's just a unique way to kind of bring

a product back to life and also use it in a different way.

The ski chairs, as everybody knows,

are connected to skiing.

And people in the Tahoe community and outside of

the Tahoe community and other ski towns are

obsessed with skiing.

And so if they can have something that represents

that sport for them year-round and at their house,

I think it's something that is pretty powerful.

We had seen some people doing this in Colorado,

and my business partner Ben had thought maybe his

woodwork would lend itself to a project like this.

I had just moved to the Tahoe area, wasn't working

yet and he asked me if I had access to any ski chairs.

So I just started emailing around town, got a hold of

a couple, turned out they looked pretty cool and we

finished them up and so we turned it into a business.

The business is mainly set up here in Truckee, Tahoe

and we do a lot of the fabrication and

installation here in Truckee, Tahoe.

But the woodwork is done in San Francisco where my

business partner lives.

Ben does all of the woodwork, the new slats

and the wood designs in his shop, and then we

bring all of those up to Tahoe and I then install

them here on location and then deliver them to the

customer's house, which is mainly been in the Tahoe area,

but has been as far as Bozeman, Montana.

When we get these chairs, they are what we like to

call "In their raw form" so they have definitely

been weathered over three to four decades.

So all of the paint is chipped off.

There is a decent amount of rust on these, and

there's a lot of work to be done if they want to be

brought into the home as a statement piece.

So what we do is we strip it down to the raw metal

and its original form, and then powder coating.

So what they're doing there is spraying a powder

onto the chair and then baking it in a massive

oven essentially to get that paint powder to stick.

And the powder coating, the color you see on the

chairs is all done in Reno, at a powder coating shop.

Our ski chairs have lived on the mountain for over

three decades, and they aren't really just an

object, they have a lot of memories tied to them,

they're kind of a unique place, you can meet new

people, I have no doubt that people have met their

husband or wife on a ski chair.

Just being outside, being refreshed by the outdoors is

something that you can kind of associate with these ski chairs.

And it also brings some of that nostalgia for people

that have been skiing their entire lives,

introducing it to their families, I mean all of

that is happening on a ski chair.

And after so many years, these chairs are now

moving into their, we'll call it their retirement,

so they're getting cleaned up, we're bringing them

into people's homes for functional art,

is kind of what we like to call it.

It's kind of amazing to watch these chairs end up

on the front porches of people's homes, this sport

is that important to people that they want to

show that this is something they care about,

and that this is a skier's home.

I've been skiing and snowboarding since I was

in eighth grade, so working on something like

this and tying my passion with the small business

that I'm running has been really, really great.


New Mexico PBS dot org and look for COLORES under

What We Do and Local Productions.



Funding for COLORES was provided in part by:

Frederick Hammersley Foundation...

New Mexico PBS Great Southwestern Arts &

Education Endowment Fund at the Albuquerque Community Foundation

...and Viewers Like You.



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