Gordon Parks: The Eye That Feels - A Student-Curated Exhibit
Gabby Kirikian '20 was one of seven students to earn a coveted MillbrookEngage internship that took place during the summer of 2019. Her passion for photography led her to connect with The Gordon Parks Foundation, A Division of the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation, where she supported Millbrook alumnus Peter Kunhardt '01 and worked closely with the foundation's Assistant Director Amanda Smith.
During the internship, Bill and Cam Hardy visited Gabby at the foundation and encouraged her to consider curating a Gordon Parks exhibit in the Flagler Memorial Chapel at Millbrook. Gabby agreed and decided it would be the perfect culmination of her four-year Millbrook career. Thus, the Gordon Park show, The Eye That Feels, became Gabby's Culminating Experience for Seniors (CES) project, and Amanda Smith helped her curate specific images and bring the exhibit to life.
Gabby has said this about the Gordon Parks Foundation and her opportunity to complete an internship at their Pleasantville offices:
The foundation continues Gordon Parks' legacy and everything he stood for. He was more than just a photographer - he was an advocate for inequality. Helping them preserve his work and support his legacy was really fulfilling. My MillbrookEngage internship allowed me to learn a lot about what it takes to run a foundation and all the work that goes into maintaining an archive, particularly for photography. I learned about annual condition reporting, helped to digitize some pieces in the archive, and assisted in whatever else they needed me to do. This internship program really succeeds in connecting students with their passion and providing a priceless experience to last a lifetime.
Fifteen of Gordon Parks' iconic photographs went on exhibit in the Flagler Memorial Chapel on January 6, 2020; the show will be on display through March 6. Parents, alumni, and friends of Millbrook School and fans of Gordon Park are invited to a special opening reception on Friday, January 24th from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.