The “Pieces of Pacifica” project group: (left to right) Christina Schreiner, Marisa Benson, Nicole Riley, Matt Dodge, Ian Adams (back), Oceane Ringuette (front), Alisha Spalding, Jesse McKeen-Scott, Kim Hansford
Marisa and Jesse choose their photos for the exhibit.
Oceane Ringuette begins hanging the exhibit photographs
A visitor views part of the exhibit during the opening reception.
Visitors viewing more of the exhibit in the upstairs area of the Library.
Pacifica is a California coastal community of about 40,000 people 12 miles south of San Francisco and spread along a six mile stretch of coastal beach, hills and valleys. The area explored in this project is called the Sharp Park neighborhood, and was within a ¼ mile radius of the Pacifica Sharp Park Library. Sharp Park is considered one of the oldest districts of Pacifica and includes the famous fishing pier as well as a golf course, amazing coastal hiking trails, hundred year old residential houses and numerous businesses. The Historical Society is actively working to designate Sharp Park as Pacifica’s historical district.
We discovered a lot about the history of Pacifica. During a walking tour led by Jerry Crow of the Pacifica Historical Society we learned that many of the buildings in this neighborhood are a century old (interesting as the city was not incorporated until @1957). We also discovered new “nooks and crannies” that many of us had never seen before: a street we’d never been down, a garden built for the public that no one knew about, the way the ocean air claims almost everything by rusting and continuing erosion. We talked about the development of the city and wondered why so many industrial businesses are placed right on one of the most scenic areas in Pacifica (the bluffs overlooking the ocean), and the variations in building styles in one block.
The first outside exploration at our first meeting. In this photo are Jesse McKeen-Scott, Marisa Benson, Nicole Riley, Ian Adams and Kim Hansford.
The youth learned some new photography techniques as well as how to look at their surrounding environment with an eye for details and discoveries. They also gained experience working together as a group over a period of eleven weeks.
It wasn’t always easy for the teens to be there every Friday afternoon because of school and family commitments, and there was an intense aversion to the writing process in the beginning but once they got started they realized it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be, and as the project leader I was impressed by their “hidden” talents!
Alisha Spalding starts framing the photos for the exhibit
Pacifica is a large town that prides itself on having a “small town” vibe. At the opening reception for the exhibit we had a full house with people from all over Pacifica. We received glowing reviews from everyone who came and many were impressed with the skills and observations exhibited by the teens.
Kim Hansford works on her writing to go along with the exhibit photos.
In the end, I think we were able to show our community that local teens can have a positive and even inspirational voice when it comes to the environment they live in. The teens involved in the project came away with a sense of their own creative abilities as well as a renewed interest in their own “everyday” environments as seen through the camera lens. I never ceased to be amazed by the work they did, the observations they made, and the actions they took to pull everything together. I hope you enjoy browsing this online exhibit created by nine Pacifica teens.
— Kimberly Day, Project Director