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Storytelling Through Photography: Inland Empire Students Inspired by Jon Henry

Storytelling Through Photography

Inland Empire Students Inspired by Jon Henry

California Museum of Photography

March 30, 2024 to June 9, 2024

This year, 297 students from twelve schools across Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties participated in the Storytelling Through Photography Workshop inspired by the exhibition Jon Henry: Stranger Fruit at UCR ARTS’ California Museum of Photography (Sep. 2023-Feb. 2024). Jon Henry, a New York-based artist, created Stranger Fruit in response to the tragic death of Sean Bell in 2006 and the ongoing violence against Black individuals. The project portrays mothers holding their sons in a pose reminiscent of the Pietà, a religious symbol depicting Mary cradling the body of Jesus after his crucifixion. Through this series, Henry sheds light on the profound impact of racial violence on families, communities, and society as a whole.

In October 2023, Jon Henry collaborated with photography students from Riverside Virtual High School and Vista Murrieta High School to recreate iconic images using his large-format camera, affectionately named Lucy. Following Henry’s lead, teaching artist Steffanie A. Padilla continued the workshops throughout the fall of 2023.

This exhibition showcases the photographs created by students in collaboration with Jon Henry, as well as their individual works. Students were tasked with creating photographic narratives that reference and reinterpret iconic images from various sources, including art history, photography, and contemporary culture. This challenge prompted them to explore themes such as grief, racism, sexism, adversity, self-discovery, familial bonds, and societal critiques, with their images serving as powerful storytelling tools.

Related Events
Public Reception
Saturday, April 13, 2024 | 3-6 pm
Free and open to the public


Bishop Amat Memorial High School
Addison Audet
Michelle Castaneda
Lila Gongora
Elyssa Ochoa
Alejandra Portillo
Isabella Rodriguez

Riverside Virtual School
Pia Atkins-Martinez
Levi Barker
Skyy Clark
Brian Conley
April Conley
Noe Corona
Miguel Duenas
Reese Erickson
Jessica Esteban
William Hernandez
Sophia Jimenez
Hari Joshi
Kalia Landeros
Daniel Marquecho
Aubrianna Meza
Abbygail Miramontes
Kimberly Molina
Emma Nunez

Summit High School
Annabel Ayon
Daniela Layos
Giovanni Merida

Vista Murrieta High School
Joan Badillo
Rachel Boodman
Nadia Gary
Sean-Alexander Gay
Brandon Gutierrez
Mariah Jimenez
Lucas Mabon
Keira McLain
John Morgan
Madelyn Ryder
Audrey Sannipoli
Ava Santiago
Hayley Skiles
Ellie Talavera
Tegan Thornton
Nicelle Venegas
Hannah Villegas

The Storytelling Through Photography Workshop was taught by Jon Henry and Steffanie A. Padilla. The exhibition was co-curated by Lindsey Hammel, associate director of education and public programs, and Steffanie A. Padilla, teaching artist.

Special thanks to photography teachers Jolene Joseph at Bishop Amat Memorial High School, Lisette Bourne at Riverside Virtual High School, Sandy De La Rosa at Summit High School, and Lindsay Ricketts at Vista Murrieta High School. The workshop and resulting student exhibition were made possible through support from the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at UCR and the City of Riverside.

Images: Jon Henry and photography students of Riverside Virtual School, After The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, 2023.

Jon Henry and photography students of Vista Murrieta High School, After Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat, 2023

Jon Henry and photography students of Vista Murrieta High School, After Annie Leibovitz, 2023