A Photographic Study of Homeschooled Children in New York’s Catskill Mountains, by Rachel Papo
Heeding the call of my intuition, I meandered into a local gallery, having been enticed by a banner hanging outside displaying one of the images of photographer Rachel Papo. Fortuitously, I caught her show the day before it came down. Immediately captivated by this evocative display of portraiture, I contemplated her imagery, which conveys a bird’s-eye view into the lives of 15 homeschooled children in New York’s Catskill Mountains – part storytelling, part study.
While the subject of homeschooling itself elicits its own debate among adults, this show is not a political statement, but rather an investigation of the inner lives of the children and their world of exploration, whimsy, creativity, and self-expression. Rachel Papo states how this project initially forced her to challenge her own preconceived notions and judgments of homeschooling.
The images of the collection capture quiet moments strung together by the intimacy conveyed of the lives of children being raised and educated outside the confines of the traditional American school system. Papo depicts what life for these children not trapped behind conventional desks each day resembles. It is a rich tapestry of exploration for the photographer, who started out by photographing one child, and was then inspired to delve into the broader tight-knit community of homeschooling families. Thus, a provocative body of work was born. Papo intends to publish a book of this collection.
Click an image below to view the gallery: