The internship program forms part of CEPA’s overall mission of making art more accessible to the local community.
“We are aware of the high barrier to art that exists, and want to do everything in our power to lower that barrier.
“So, we try to engage the community with the arts through free exhibitions, educational programming, and low-cost rentals for studio space, darkroom space, and lab space,” explains Claire.
CEPA was founded in 1974 as a collective artists’ space, and it remains one of the only organizations in Western New York (WNY) that’s dedicated to the photo-related arts. It pays particular attention to the history of photography while teaching analog techniques to provide a better understanding of the art in its modern form.
“I’m trying to connect children today with the tradition of photography that’s existed for nearly 200 years, but has, in my view, been separated in the last 20,” says Nate Ely, Education Director of CEPA.
“It’s a different kind of craft than it was formerly,” he continues. “I refer to it as the antiquarian avant-garde. Normally, you think about avant-garde as being very forward looking. This is sort of the opposite, where you can look back at photography’s history and use that as a way to reflect on its future.”