Talking Pictures

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Mentor Artist Sophie Cooper reports on her Media Literacy residency with middle and high school students at University Prep at the Canal Alliance.

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” This phrase reminds us that images have a unique way of communicating to us. We encounter images everywhere we turn – in magazines, on billboards and on the screens of our computers, phones and televisions. More than ever before, it is essential for youth to develop an understanding of how these images communicate, so they can engage the powerful language of images to share their own ideas.

In this dynamic Media Literacy program, students learned how to “read” images in advertising and media, uncovering the underlying ideals and values that they endorse. The ability to look critically at images in the media allows youth to then choose what images align with their own personal values.


Students learned professional photography techniques and were given cameras to take out into the neighborhood. They were asked to define their personal values through what they choose to photograph. Their final works of art combined their own original photographs with found images from magazines into creative and unique photo collages.

Mentor Artist: Sophie Cooper

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