Guinevere Himes completes the 2017 Art of Teen Leadership: Marquette Photovoice Project

The Art of Teen Leadership: Marquette Photovoice Project engaged youth from Marquette in expressing their perspectives on issues that they think are important in the community, using photography and storytelling as a medium to do so.

Guinevere Himes, a 15 year-old from Skandia, Michigan, shared her perspective on important community matters through her participation in the 2017 Art of Teen Leadership: Marquette Photovoice Project. The goal of the project, led by staff from Michigan State University Extension, was to enable youth in the Marquette area to use photography to highlight the aspects of their community that they viewed as strengths and opportunities for change. You can read more about the Marquette Photovoice Project in the “Marquette Photovoice Project lets community see through eyes of youth” news article.

Himes’s collection of photographs for the project focused primarily on the positive presence of nature and agriculture in her community.

“In these photos I was hoping to show viewers what nature can do and is capable of,” said Himes. “All my pictures were taken on my family’s farm and I wanted others to see the beauty of the place we live in.”

Participating in the Marquette Photovoice Project helped Himes learn new photography skills and provided a space where she could discuss her thoughts on what makes her community great, and how it could be better, with other youth.

“I learned about other people’s ideas on a variety of subjects,” said Himes.

The City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center featured Himes’ photos, along with those of other participants, in an exhibit entitled “Through the Eyes of Our Youth” that was on display November 27 through December 5. Himes wrote captions displayed alongside each of her photos to communicate the message she wanted to share with members of the community through each photo about the positive and potentially negative aspects of her community.


Here Comes the Sunby Guinevere Himes. Artist’s statement: “When I look at this picture, I see myself when I chose to have a good day and let that sun in. In many places it is too polluted to see certain things and in the U.P., we will always see the sun and the stars because we take care of our home.”


Amidst the Falling Snowby Guinevere Himes. Artist’s statement: “When I look at this calf, I see her enjoying the sun shining on her side. I also see the only cow content on where she is, because the others decided that the next pen over was too good to be true. Cows are, in a way, kind of like children. If you give a child the choice between broccoli or pizza, the child will most likely choose pizza. Cows given the choice between everyday hay or pea shoots will most likely choose the pea shoots.”


The Unwilling Subject by Guinevere Himes. Artist’s statement: “This picture to me looks as though the beaver is glaring at the camera. We have a swamp near our farm and I assume that is where it was coming from. Anyway, it was in the cow pen and we all ran out to see it. None of us had seen a beaver before. If you do ever see a beaver, watch out for their looks.”


Diggin’ for Goldby Guinevere Himes. Artist’s statement: “Living on a farm, we are able to grow our own food. I enjoy growing food and knowing what is in the food I am eating. With the land that we have, we are able to do it.”

The photographs taken by Himes convey the natural beauty that she experiences in the place where she lives and works with her family, and by extension, illustrates what she hopes others in her community will value as well. She thinks that young people should become active members of their community in order to develop the knowledge and experiences that will be required of them as future community leaders. Her advice for youth who what to make a positive difference in their community: Don’t be afraid to try it and don’t mind other people’s negative thoughts.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth leadership, citizenship and service and global and cultural education programs, read the 2016 impact report: “Developing Civically Engaged Leaders.” Additional impact reports, highlighting even more ways MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H positively impacted individuals and communities in 2016, can be downloaded from the MSU Extension website.

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