Work To Ride (a work in progress)

Hosted By:   Kara LaFleur & University City Arts League

Main invitation image

Opening Reception:
Friday, August 13th 5:30-7:30

Show Dates:
August 13th - September 3rd, 2010

University City Arts League Gallery Hours:
Monday-Friday 9am-6pm
Saturday & Sunday by appointment

This exhibition was made possible by an Art & Social Change Grant from the Leeway Foundation

Image Credits:
left: Work To Ride (spring 2007), C-print 12"x12" (20"x20" framed)
right: Work To Ride (summer 2009), C-print, 12"x12"
(20"x20" framed)

Work To Ride (a work in progress) Artist Statement:
Work To Ride (WTR) is a program for at risk and urban youth located in the Belmont Plateau section of Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park. Founded in 1994 by Lezlie Hiner, WTR started as a refuge for the youth of West Philly who were willing to put in a little work to get off the streets. In exchange for doing barn chores, they were allowed to pursue an equestrian sport of their choosing. Following Lezlie’s passion, many of them chose Polo; and in 1997, they had the first African American Polo Team in America. Ever. Over the years the program has evolved from a mere handful to over twenty and has owed much of its success to volunteers, who contribute to the program itself while also facilitating increased community support and involvement. The kids still have to work with the horses and now undergo tutoring to keep their grades up in order to participate in anything from Horse Shows to Steeple Chases. Today, against all odds, these kids continue to prove themselves both on the field and off.

The images contained within Work To Ride (a work in progress) seek to explore the very heart and soul of this program over a period of several years. In 2006, after volunteering with WTR for eight months, I began to photograph informally around the barn, with what the kids affectionately coined my “dollar camera”. Quiet and unassuming, the Holga is less intrusive than other, more sophisticated alternatives, allowing for a more immersive approach to the project. Using this plastic camera with all of its idiosyncrasies uniquely conveys the underlying socio-political implications of class and race inherent within this program from which a deeply touching narrative of impoverished youth and unparalleled opportunity arises.

Date & Time:

Friday, August 13 at 5:30 PM (EDT)


University City Arts League

4226 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Invitation Message Board

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Ruth Kalinka 08/13/10

Congratulations, Kara! Have a great opening night! grin

Joan Smith 08/13/10

I'm planning to make it but said "maybe" because I've been missing evening things lately due to some back problems. If I'm up to it when work ends, I'll be there -- I can't wait to see it!

Uche Ojeh 08/12/10

I'll try to make it tomorrow ... who knew the camera was 'the Holga'... really excited to see how the exhibition turns out......

Carl Mangione 08/12/10

Kara, I'm sorry we won't be able to attend. It sounds wonderful. Congratulations.

Rachel Zimmerman 08/12/10

Sorry, we are in NM. Congratulations!

Keesa Bond 08/12/10

Kara, this is so exciting! I am recovering from and awful cold that I just passed on to the fiance. I'm hopeful that I can make it, but I may need to be caretaker for the evening.


I am in Maine and can not make it, Congratulations....

Jonny Goldstein 08/12/10

Matty and I look forward to it!

Melissa Conway 08/03/10

I WISH I could be there, just not going to work though! I'm so bummed!

Harris Fogel 08/03/10

I'm in CA so can't attend, sorry! It looks great! Congratulations!

Nidhi Krishen 08/03/10

Will definitely try to be there.

Lezlie Hiner 08/03/10

Kara, what a great pic of Sydney!!! Too cute.

Judith Kayser 08/03/10

Kara, I'm so proud of you and can't wait to see your work. Judith

alexis siemons 08/03/10

I will be out of town that night, but can't wait to hear about it!

Jonathan Wetstein 08/03/10

I'll be away :-< GOOD LUCK AND TAKE PICS


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