Photography Scholars Program

The Photography Scholars Program leads high school students through the process of professional artistic practice. Working in close partnership with the museum’s curatorial staff and an outside, professional artist, participants will create a body of work around a central theme in photography. Short weekly reading, research, or photographic assignments will be required. By the end of the program, students will have developed a portfolio of images and created a professional artist statement. The program culminates with a student exhibition and opening reception for parents, friends, and teachers presented in the Ford Learning Center galleries.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Photography Scholars Program is a partnership between schools in the Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri area and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The application process is competitive: students must be nominated by a teacher, and a maximum of two students per school will be accepted.

Application Period
The application period opens in early October and runs through early December for program workshops that begin in late January of the following year. Please refer to individual program descriptions for exact dates and deadlines.


Photography Scholars 2017-2018: The Past is Present

Working in collaboration with guest photographer Matt Rahner and museum staff, students will take a critical look at how artists approach photographing historical events and issues. Through readings, research assignments, and discussion of original works of art, students will explore how photographers acknowledge and discuss historical events as they relate to contemporary times.

After engaging in gallery and classroom activities, students will create their own photographic portfolio, drawing on themes and ideas discussed in class. Participants will create photographs that explore historical issues they find personally relevant, and craft an artist statement—an exercise that encourages students to articulate the thoughts behind their work.

Class sessions are led by the museum’s curatorial staff and visiting photographer Matt Rahner. Sessions meet for eight consecutive Saturdays starting January 20, 2018. Attendance for all class sessions is mandatory.

Application Deadline
The application period for 2018 is now closed.

Workshop Dates

January 20, 2018
January 27, 2018
February 3, 2018
February 10, 2018
February 17, 2018
February 24, 2018
March 3, 2018
March 10, 2018

Each class meets from 10am to 12pm.

Student work will be exhibited in the Ford Learning Center galleries.

An opening reception will be held on April 19, 2018, 6-8pm, in the Aquila Room.

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