Ms. Kev Filmore collaborates with students for "The Home Project"

Courtesy of Ms. Kev Filmore

Upper School Photography Teacher Ms. Kev Filmore opened her photography display “The Home Project” in the Cora E. McLaughlin ’29, RSCJ, Art Gallery at Sacred Heart Greenwich March 5. The collection focuses on the theme of home and showcases pieces from Ms. Filmore’s sabbatical project, as well as student-produced works.

After teaching art and photography at Sacred Heart for 17 years, the school presented Ms. Filmore with the Vivian Pomex Sabbatical year. The year grants Sacred Heart educators the opportunity to explore a specific project of their choice.  Ms. Filmore took this time to focus on her career as a photographer and create a series that reflected her personal life.

“I have been raising my family and juggling my teaching career while making personal artwork for the past 40 plus years,” Ms. Filmore said. “This gift of time is priceless, and I feel very grateful.”

Ms. Kev Filmore captured an image of a series of childhood photographs for her collection “21 Magnolia Rd.”  Courtesy of Ms. Kev Filmore

During Ms. Filmore’s sabbatical over the 2017-2018 school year, she worked on a project she titled after the address of her childhood home, “21 Magnolia Rd.”  The collection contains artwork that Ms. Filmore produced as a reflection on her youth.

“’21 Magnolia Rd.’ was my childhood address and the series tells the story about being raised by seemingly successful, but very dysfunctional parents in the 1960s,” Ms. Filmore said. “My mixed media work illustrates my search for the truth about my upbringing.”

The display will remain in the McLaughlin Gallery for one more week. In addition to the display at Sacred Heart, the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts will display a handmade photobook of “21 Magnolia Rd,” starting April 11.  The Griffin exhibition showcases the top self-published photography books of the year. The Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts will also display “21 Magnolia Rd.” from May 16 to June 14.

Ms. Filmore shared her individual project with her photography students when she returned from sabbatical this year.  Instead of opening a collection only featuring her work, she requested that her students add their own contribution to the display.

Sasha Kalinichenko ’21 photographed her family at the breakfast table for “The Home Project.”  Courtesy of Sasha Kalinichenko ’21

Sophomore Sasha Kalinichenko, a student in Ms. Filmore’s Photography II class, won the Grand Prize in the 2019 Greenwich Magazine Photo Contest for her photo from “The Home Project.”  The January 2019 edition of the Greenwich Magazine included her work.

“I really enjoyed working on this project because it was unlike any of our previous projects,” Sasha said.  “My favorite part of it was taking the photos of my family and home because it’s what the project was centered around.  There was no concrete inspiration behind my photo, it was just something I took in the moment, which, in my opinion, makes it more interesting.”

For “The Home Project,” Shay Newman ’21 captured her father and sister, Finley Newman ’26, placing a star on top of their Christmas tree.  Courtesy of Shay Newman ’21

Sophomore Shay Newman, another student in Ms. Filmore’s Photography II class, took her own approach to the project.  She enjoyed showing her peers what home means to her, and likewise, seeing what home means to them.

“The pictures all told a story,” Shay said.  “One of my favorite parts about this project was seeing what everyone else considered home.  Everyone’s story was different.”

The inspiration behind Shay’s photograph is Christmas, her favorite holiday.  Ms. Filmore’s project gave Shay the opportunity to demonstrate how much the celebration means to her and her family.

“I took a photo of my dad and little sister putting up the star on our Christmas tree,” Shay said.  “Christmas is a time of happiness and family, so I thought it was fitting to have my photograph not only showing two members of my family, but also a holiday that means a lot to me.” 

Ms. Filmore also enjoyed having the opportunity to display images that reflected her family life, and especially enjoyed the time she had to craft the exhibit.

“I found the process revealing and therapeutic at the same time,” Ms. Filmore said.  “I love the one of my mother’s profile and figures in green.  She was an artist and teacher and I looked up to her and strove to be like her.”

Featured Image by Natalie Dosmond ’21