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Wendy Ewald - Secret Games : Collaborative Works with Children, 1969 - 1999

Chiapas, Mexico 1991, Graham Gallery: May 22 – September 4, 2010 Six projects 1969 – 1999, Goldie Paley Gallery: June 5  – October 16, 2010 Five projects 1992 – 1998, Levy Gallery: September 10 – October 16, 2010   In the early 1970s, Wendy Ewald was one of the early pioneers in investigating collaboration as part of her artistic practice. Starting as a documentary investigation of places and communities connected to teaching, Ewald's project has evolved over the years to focus on questions of identity and cultural difference working with artists and communities in the United States and throughout the world. In all of these projects, Ewald partners her observational and creative skills with her subjects' visual inventions, encouraging them to use cameras to create portraits of self and community, to articulate their own personal fantasies, dreams, and hopes, and to work directly with her in visual and verbal collaboration. Her early collaborations with children, a process called Literacy Through Photography, have become a model for curriculum that engages students through photography as a means of improving literacy skills and exploring issues of identity and cultural diversity. Ewald herself makes photographs, sometimes giving her negatives to collaborators to mark and write on, mixing the images in such a way that challenges who actually “created” a given image. In blurring the distinction of individual authorship and throwing into doubt the artist's identity, Ewald crosses the line that separates the photographer from the subject and creates a new artistic form. In an exhibition spread across three galleries over five months, Secret Games showcases the scope of Ewald’s work and the powerful results of her collaborations with children. The exhibition features approximately 150 photographs along with video installation and project documentation.   The original touring exhibition, Secret Games: Wendy Ewald Collaborative Works with Children, 1969-1999, was organized by the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. Highlights from the exhibition have been reassembled by Moore College of Art & Design in conjunction with the 2010 Visionary Women Awards and Moore's introduction of Ewald's Literacy Through Photography curriculum into select Philadelphia public schools in 2010-2011 as part of ArtsRising.   Literacy Through Photography in Philadelphia is supported by the William Penn Foundation. The presentation of the exhibition in Philadelphia is supported by The Honickman Foundation.