Check out the Reflections of Hope exhibit

Reflections of Hope: Images From Our Community Art Exhibit, showcases the best photos from the 2009 and 2010 Camera Projects.

A sample of the quality photos which came out of the Reflections of Hope program. The photos are on display right now at the Art Gallery and are also found in their 2011 calendar.

A sample of the quality photos which came out of the Reflections of Hope program. The photos are on display right now at the Art Gallery and are also found in their 2011 calendar.

Reflections of Hope: Images From Our Community Art Exhibit, showcases the best photos from the 2009 and 2010 Camera Projects.

These two photography projects aimed to provide the opportunity for lower-income individuals to participate in an art project.

The chosen photos in the exhibit are decidedly positive, as the purposes of the projects were to focus on belonging to community.

The Camera Project was modeled after a similar project initiated in Vancouver’s Lower Ease Side. Smithers is the only community other that Vancouver to do this.

Through the two years, 88 disposable cameras were handed out with 50 returned. The cameras were handed out in June.

“I expected the cameras back in three weeks but participants would come to me and say I can’t return my camera yet I still have five photos left,” said Project Coordinator Melanie Monds.

She added that participants took the project very seriously and most stated they would do it again.

One participant, whose photo was in the calendar, said that it’s good to have their photo in the calendar but “next year I’m going to win.”

Two local visual artists chose the best 40 photos. For the 2009 Camera Project Virginia Pohl did this task and for the 2010 Camera Project Facundo Gastiazoro. The top forty from each year were arranged on a board and brought to the Famers Market and to Mountain Eagle Books for the community to vote on the best photos.

Without the financial support from the Wetsin’kwa Community Forest Corporation Grant program and the Bulkley Valley Credit Union this art exhibit would not be possible.

The exhibit’s first opening was on Jan. 14 and a second opening will be held at noon on Jan. 20 at the art gallery.

Positive Living North is a community based organization that focuses on wellness and strength in the lower income population in the Bulkley Valley. Their daily drop-in programs are open to the community.