Student photography leaves lasting impression on new Queensbury High School walls

Athletic art on QHS wallIt’s a legacy of the Legacy 2020 Capital Project. As you walk through the newly renovated halls of Queensbury High School, there are more than two dozen, large-scale black and white photos on the walls. It’s a project that began with 3,500 raw photos, all taken by high school students during the 2018-19 school year. The initiative, led by students Sara Bramlage and Drew Crawford, was meant to capture moments that would inspire anyone and bring student perspective to a new building. Bramlage and Crawford, a junior and a senior at the time, spent the better part of last school year enveloped in the project, with support from the high school art department and Superintendent Dr. Douglas Huntley.

“The point of the project was to embody Queensbury in a photo,” said Bramlage.

“The whole drive was for it to be images of our students, taken by our students,” added QHS art teacher, Amanda Bengle. “It was important that the images chosen would be exciting to them and their peers.”

Art on QHS walls - exploreThe photo boards are each five feet by three feet, some with an overlay with different types of wording to accompany the images. Bramlage describes the final products as photos of everyone, doing everything.

“Sports, unified basketball, science, the innovations lab, robotics, the greenhouse…we took photos of everything we could think of,” she said.

“Choosing to keep the photos black and white was strategic,” added Crawford. “There are a lot of ways to capture and edit color photos. We chose to use black and white as a way to unify all of the different styles we have and keep it consistent across the board.”

The project didn’t end once the photos were captured and printed. The students walked around the building several times while it was under construction with Superintendent Huntley and their art teachers.

“The big part we focused on was lines of sight,” said Bengle. “We asked, when you turn down a corner, where is your eye going to go? Where do we want to take people’s view?”

Bengle says a remarkable piece of the project is how student-driven it was.

“They took total ownership over this,” she said. “When students are interested and take a project to heart, the output is so much better.”

“They wanted their thumbprint on the Legacy 2020 project,” added Superintendent Huntley. “Drew and Sara developed a plan that resulted in an atmosphere that truly showcases Queensbury High School’s student talents throughout the building. It’s remarkable.”

Bramlage and Crawford say their ultimate hope is for the photos to connect the school and the people who walk through it.

Art on QHS wall - create“I hope people appreciate the photos for what they are: an embodiment of the kids at our school,” said Bramlage. “Our school and the student body, we are united, and I hope people look at these photos and feel that.”

Bengle says there is room for the collection to grow in the coming years, with certain parts of the school atmosphere that can still be represented through photography. She says Bramlage’s and Crawford’s work has set the foundation for a project that will continue to evolve.

“We want to keep it current. It will be a good tool for the incoming photography students to always be on the lookout for that moment that they want to capture.”