Youth in Focus alum Chloe Collyer wins scholarship, becomes photo teacher!

Youth in Focus recently awarded alumna Chloe Collyer the $2,500 JGS Scholarship for Promising Young Artists, made possible by a donation from the Joy of Giving Something Foundation. This spring was the second time Youth in Focus has awarded a scholarship of this kind to an alum. The judges were Annie Van Avery (Photo Center NW Executive Director), Ashley Siple (PCNW Education Director), Ken Matsudaira (Curator of the M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery) and Sally Tonkin (Youth in Focus Board Member and SPE 2011 Photography Educator of the Year). Entries were submitted anonymously, and though all of the submissions were very strong, the Judges agreed that Chloe was the clear winner.

Chloe first started at Youth in Focus in Fall 2006 in the Beginning Black & White Photography class. She says, “I got into Youth in Focus through a friend of mine who was in Advanced Black & White. She let me shoot with her camera once (before I had an SLR of my own) and I said: ‘Where’d you get this nice camera?’ She told me about Youth in Focus and I literally had my application in the next day. We both went to an alternative high school with low funding, and almost no art classes, so Youth in Focus was my only chance to get an education in photography. I LOVED high school and thrived at Nova, but also took refuge at The 2100 Building many times because it was often a safe, quiet space for me to get my school work done. (I was always the first student to arrive and the last to leave).”

After completing Intermediate B&W and Advanced Digital Photography, Chloe stayed active at Youth in Focus as a participant in the Freelance Project, as a student speaker at our auction, and as a Youth Advisory Board member. “I felt a bit like poster child [for Youth in Focus], and yet I never felt pressured to dedicate extra time or energy. I did so because I genuinely enjoyed activism, community building, and the Youth in Focus staff — these are the same reasons that I returned to teach. I can’t wait to be part of the traditions AND changes that occur at Youth in Focus.”

Chloe just completed her freshman year at The Evergreen State College in Olympia where she further expanded her knowledge of photography — something that will come in handy this summer when she is teaching at Youth in Focus!

That’s right — this summer Chloe will be returning to Youth in Focus as a teacher, a full-circle accomplishment we are extremely proud of. She will be following in the footsteps of Dorothy Ng, a Youth in Focus alum who taught Beginning Black & White Photography in 2007. Chloe will be teaching Beginning Black & White Photography on Tuesdays and Thursdays all summer.

This fall, Chloe will be attending Seattle Central Community College, where she hopes to enroll in the Commercial Photography program. Her $2,500 scholarship will be distributed directly to the college, and can be used for any of Chloe’s education expenses. After she earns her AA, she’d like to return to Evergreen to complete her Bachelor’s in Visual Arts/Journalism. She’s interested in studying art therapy as well, and her ultimate goal is to shoot for a local magazine while also pursuing freelance work.

To learn more about Chloe’s journey of photography and why she has a passion for this art form, please visit our Facebook album where you can see her winning photos and accompanying essay.

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