Photography Opens Young Minds to Nature

Partnership Between Local Artist and Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative Returns to Asbury

The Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative is excited to announce the return of “Photography, Art and Nature,” a program for tweens developed and led by artist, photographer Joanne Miller.

The first session kicked off on Asbury Methodist Village’s 17-acre Wildlife Preserve (see photos below), and was followed by a trip to Great Falls. Other spots will include Greenway Trail, Brookside Gardens and Black Hill Park.

“I take great joy in opening students to an optimistic view of the natural world,” Joanne says. “It is wonderful to watch them develop an understanding through this program that they are an important part of the world around them.”

Using nature as the backdrop, participants explore the visual language of art and photography and are guided through the basics of camera use; composition, understanding light, observational details and personal point-of-view. Emphasis is placed on the value of personal expression, positive self-esteem and respect for the natural environment. Students’ photographs will be displayed during an art show at Asbury.

Photography, Art and Nature was first held on Asbury’s campus several years ago, and included students from local middle schools. This year, participants are children from the Conversational English for Latino Moms group, a partnership between Asbury and Identity, a Gaithersburg-based Latino outreach group and Beloved Community member. Participants meet weekly with Asbury residents to practice their conversational English skills and participate in special events.

The Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative is a partnership with Wesley Theological Seminary, Gaithersburg City, Identity, an agency serving Latino youth and families, Montgomery County Public Schools and the Montgomery County Executive Office. Conceived by Rev. Hal Garman shortly after he moved to Asbury Methodist Village in 2011, Beloved Community engages Asbury and area residents in supporting youth. By bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, Beloved Community reminds us that we all share common interests and desires.

The Photography, Art and Nature program is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

Joanne Miller Photography
Joanne Miller Photography
Joanne Miller Photography
Joanne Miller Photography

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