Mentoring day with our One by One photographer

Jul 29, 2009

Michelle Andonian has travelled around the world documenting the Amway One by One Campaign for Children, since it was launched in 2003. Recently, some students and an instructor from the West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology visited Michelle at her studio. Following is a recap from Dennis Gantz, the photography instructor.

Here at the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, we believe that beauty begets beauty, and that if you provide individuals with opportunities to work in world-class facilities, with top-notch professional equipment and caring mentors, excellence will result. Consequently, I have seen a lot of outstanding artwork from the urban high-schoolers with whom we work, and been a part of some very life-affirming experiences during our four years of existence. Amway’s One by One program provided one of those experiences recently when Deb, Angela, and Robin treated two WMCAT students with a trip to Detroit for a visit with photographer Michelle Andonian.

Michelle is a terrific artist and a wonderful person. She went above and beyond in giving our young WMCAT photographers an idea of what it is like to be a professional in the field. Indispensable tips and insights were imparted throughout the day as we were treated to a barrage of pizza, a personal tour through Michelle’s portfolio, a chance to give input on a new and exciting video project for the Henry Ford Museum, and generally made to feel at home in her fabulous studio loft.

Perhaps the best part of the day was a guided tour to the Heidelberg Project, where we all indulged in copious picture-taking and had the opportunity to talk with artist Dr. Tyree Guyton, originator of the project. It was an eye-opening experience to be sure. Tyree’s project is a phenomenal achievement of tremendous magnitude, and a wonderful example of what can be accomplished if you follow your passion. His art is a lesson in perseverance and the power of creative energy. I have no doubt that our WMCAT students were indelibly impressed. I certainly was.

This kind of mentoring is a priceless tool for a high school graduate contemplating college and career. I brought home the memory of new friends and warm-hearted people sincere in their commitment to making the world a better place.

Dennis Grantz
Manager of Creative and Instructional Development
West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology

Daishonne Michelle Andonion and Tushona

Michelle Andonian

Heidleberg project

The group

  • 1 Comment

    • Guest says:

      thanks for the story.  it's a very cool recounting of mentoring and the power of the arts.  i have a story here about mentoring by a man named Jefferson.  his story is a finalist in the mutual of omaha, aha moments campaign.  if enough people vote for him then his story of mentoring will be part of the aha moments television campaign next year.take a look: you like please vote.  if you really like tell some friends.thanks,

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