Photography Students Focus Their Lenses on Our Unsung Heroes

Thanks to A Gratitude Project, upper school photo major students in Rachel Langosch’s class have uncovered a trove of insights about the lives of members of the Masters community.

Six large-scale, semi-transparent images of our community’s “unsung heroes” are on display in the Dining Hall. Participants include: Christian Belliard, mailroom supervisor; Christopher Burton, security officer; Victor Seguinot, director of safety and security; Vincent Artale, maintenance worker; Yahaira Bonilla, daytime custodial supervisor; and Victor Linares, maintenance worker.
Langosch acknowledged that The Inside Out Project, first created by JR, a French photographer and street artist, inspired this assignment for her class. The Project is a global arts platform that helps communities come together around issues they are passionate about.

A QR code is featured on each poster which highlights informal audio interviews conducted by the five photographers: Maya Davidson ’26, Rory Frasch ’25, Lainey Spencer ’24, Clive Chong ’25, and Remy Morra Pearlman ’25. During these sessions, Langosch noted that “Each participant generously told stories of their lives and thoughtfully answered each question.”

Belliard, who can often be found in the mailroom, was happy to participate. “I love collecting the artwork of students,” he said. “I have their art on my walls here because I love that the kids are so artistic at this school.” The students also learned the Mahopac resident is a Swiftie, devoted father of three young children and a big Yankees fan.

“I'm not a big spotlight guy but I think the photo came out great and it's nice that the students acknowledge what we do and notice those of us who work behind the scenes,” he shared.

“I decided to keep the project guidelines flexible and give students free rein over the way they would create and present the work,” explained Langosch, who discussed the idea with Cheryl Hajjar, chair of the Visual Arts Department, and Selas Douglas, associate head of school for inclusive excellence. “We collaborated with the Center for Inclusive Excellence as there was such a clear connection between this photographic work and telling the stories of people within our community that are sometimes not told as loudly as others.”

During the photo shoots, Frasch enjoyed capturing the spirit of the community members and having thoughtful conversations with them. “It was interesting to learn so much about a person in a short amount of time,” they said.

“It was great to see how engaged the students were and I was impressed with how quickly they worked to make it relevant to our own community,” Douglas said. “Their choice to highlight folks that don’t always get to tell their story demonstrated how much our students embody the mission.”

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