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Stress, Pressure & Release is a teen-curated collection of photography made during the digital photography programs at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston during the fall of 2020. The title refers to the semester-long exploration of these teens’ vision and reflection of the world during the pandemic.

Through discussions and creative exercises, these young people explored how to best capture their images. Teens in the Special Focus program looked at a number of photographs to explore photographic narratives, including Gordon Parks’s black and white portraits and LaToya Ruby Frazier’s series The Notion Of Family. The Advanced Photography group explored Ragnar Kjartansson’s installation and video art piece The Visitors, Zanele Muholi’s Faces and Phases series, and Nyema Droma’s portrait photographs of Tibetans.

After these teens took many photographs and selected their strongest, they critiqued each other’s work and curated this exhibition. Additional images are showcased in their portfolios at icateens.org/portfolios.

Teen arts education is central to the ICA. Digital photography is just one of many art forms teens can explore at the museum. The ICA’s award-winning teen programming serves approximately 6,000 youths annually. We believe that robust arts education—including learning by doing—is critical to building future artists, audiences, and engaged citizens, and we aim especially to create a more equitable education for Boston area teens.

To learn more about the ICA’s teen programs, please visit icateens.org. We hope you will join us for a virtual reception as we celebrate the teens' creation and curation of this project. Please register here: bit.ly/ICA_Teens