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Through the lens of history

Students’ Brookside exhibit captures the spirit of similar showing made a decade ago

A photo of a Ballston Spa façade, and part of a photo exhibition on display at the Brookside Museum. The work of Ballston Spa High School students makes up the photography exhibit, which resembles the work done a decade ago in a similar showing. (Photo by Junior, Linda Danison)

A photo of a Ballston Spa façade, and part of a photo exhibition on display at the Brookside Museum. The work of Ballston Spa High School students makes up the photography exhibit, which resembles the work done a decade ago in a similar showing. (Photo by Junior, Linda Danison)

— Frequent visitors at the Brookside Museum in Ballston Spa might find a new photography exhibit to be familiar.

It should be, because the work of 40 Ballston Spa High School students was spurred by a similar display shown over a decade ago.

Kathleen Coleman, curator of the museum, said the project was inspired by a similar 2001 exhibit started as an effort to record the village’s history. Coleman coordinated with photography teacher Susan Masto to do the same with this one, and the result should help document some changes in the village over recent years.

“We had done an exhibit 11 years ago with the same class. It’s alook at streetscapes in the village through time. It’s great to work with the school district and have the students’ work on display,” Coleman said.

Coleman first contacted Masto in the spring of 2010 to suggest the project and incorporate many of the areas that were recorded in a photo history more than a decade ago.

“Some of the places that were photographed for both projects include many of the Victorian houses in the village, the Ballston Spa National Bank and the hotel. A majority of the photographs were taken on Milton andFront Streets,” she said.

The students were tasked with not only capturing history, butdoing so with an artistic flare. The students ended up learning more than justa two dimensional representation of their town’s past.

Student Anna Pancoast, a senior, said, “The best part about the project for me was working with film and getting to develop our own film in the dark room that is in our school. It was a lot of fun getting to work hands on developing the photos.”

“I learned a lot about different compositions and working with film,” she continued. “We learned the steps to develop our own film including what chemicals we are to use and in what order and amount to use them in to develop our work. We also learned about our own little town of Ballston Spa. I think it’s so cool that our photographs are now being recorded as a part of the history of our village, I hope that one day someone will see my work and my name and say, ‘So this is how she got started doing photography,’ because in the future I hope to become a professional photographer.”

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