This is our first time returning to the incredible MARCO (Museo de Arte Contemporario) for an advanced workshop and we’re very excited to be back! Our partners here are the incredible Ana Barbara, Christina Lobiera, and all the Marco staff and we can already tell these guys have put together a great workshop. Usually, for these workshops, everyone travels half-way around the world to get to where we’re going! But because Mexico is so close to the States, aside from Mike, NONE of us are jet-lagged, no-one is sick, and we’re in the same time zone as our families (which also makes it quite a bit easier!). An excellent start to this series of workshops!
It was nearly 18 months ago when we first met these students. As is standard, we left them with four cameras to check out and shoot, either for their own personal projects or for work, should they get commissioned. We also left them, as with all of our students, having signed up for our group’s Facebook page. A private community where they can receive feedback on their work while in the interim of the workshops. All in all these students have been doing a decent job of staying active. But truthfully, the online engagement hasn’t been what we’d like it to be. So, the first thing we did today once the students were settled in, was to address the slow trickle of images being posted on our group’s page. We then dove into a quick review and were on the road to our first assignment by 10 am. No wasting time with this crew! We were eager to find out how much was still retained from our last workshop.
Our theme for this year’s Monterrey workshop is inclusion. For the next 10 days, our students are going to focus on programs and facilities designed for groups who are often overlooked. We split the four groups into 2 locations. Wendy and Peter’s groups left Monterrey, Mexico’s 3rd largest city, to photograph an equestrian therapy program set up against a lush national park. Children with Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and attention deficit disorder worked with therapists on horseback to stretch and strengthen their muscles and exercise fine motor skills. But it sure didn’t look like exercise to our photographers. The children’s smiles and laughter told the true story of how much fun this therapy program is. The bond between the horse, rider, groom, and therapist was absolutely inspiring. While Wendy and Peter’s groups frolicked with the horses, Esha and Arthur’s groups headed to a facility offering fitness classes for the elderly. But these aren’t your typical “Sit and Be Fit” workouts. It’s a program led by a group called Vintage People and hosted by a group called Silverclub. The class incorporated dancing, singing classic rock songs, and lifting weights. It was the “cross-fit” of geriatric care.
Everyone came back at the end of the day exhausted but excited. Our download and edit ran about 30 minutes past closing time. Once we were able to pick through their images, any concern we had that these students had forgotten any of the skills we had taught were quickly put to rest. We’re all very excited to see what this group produces this workshop!
Check-in with tomorrow’s blog to find out what happens next!