Yochanan Kishon is a master photographer and artist who lives in Nahariya and teaches at Sulam Tzor Regional High School. On April 7, he stopped in Louisville with the Partnership 2Gether program to present a pair of workshops – one for adults with an interest in photography and one for teens. It was his second visit to the city.
While he was here, he also spoke with Community.
Kishon has been a Partnership volunteer for 10 years and particularly enjoys doing twinning projects. His students on both sides of the ocean address a single theme. They correspond, talk and share pictures, leading up to an exhibition.
“A photo is a wonderful tool to connect,” he said. The students take pictures all the time, he explained, “and with some direction, they can be artistic and come up with some impressive projects.”
Two years ago, Kishon stopped in Indianapolis, another city in our Partnership Central Area Consortium, for an exhibition culminating two years of corresponding and working with students, many of whom he has kept in touch with.
While he was there, he connected with Freddie Kelvin. “Both of us were documenting the Austin Ballet, which came to Israel to perform a show about the Shoah.” Kelvin then visited Israel. They collaborated on the project and developed a strong friendship.
Kishon values the opportunities Partnership offers and is always looking for more. While in Louisville, he visited Fred Whittaker’s class at St. Francis of Assisi. “It was the most amazing experience I’ve had for a long time,” he said. “The students were so curious and intellectual. The questions they asked were getting into philosophical aspects, and I felt I had the opportunity … to give some insights” that he had not been able to do for a long time.
Kishon plans to begin a project with Whittaker and is hoping to develop more twinning projects on this trip with groups in Louisville and other communities.
Prior to coming to Louisville, Kishon stopped in Dayton where he enjoyed working with amateur photographers and their experience with art. “Photography is just the tool to make the connection,” he said, “and create some kind of collaboration in the future.”
He views himself as the shaliach (emissary) with a goal of broadening the program and establishing more twinning opportunities, through which he can share his expertise gained in working with children for more than 30 years.
In the workshop he presented for adults, Kishon explored the challenges and rewards of street photography – capturing interesting images that document daily life in public places. He also presented a workshop for teens.
This time, he stayed with Robert Klein during his time in Louisville, and Kishon is looking forward to starting a project with him. Klein will be traveling to Israel as an artist-in-residence for Partnership.
Kishon finds Louisville a very warm community, and he was happy to visit again.