Exhibition Details


Location: Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography
Dates: May 4, 2018
to October 14, 2018

BUY TICKETS     BECOME A MEMBER
 

In 2012, photographer Betsy Schneider embarked on a project to explore the experience of being thirteen. Traveling around the United States, the Guggenheim grant recipient chronicled the lives of 250 13-year-olds, creating still portraits and video documentation of each. “I began with my daughter, her friends and other children I already knew. From there I reached out through my own social networks, schools, clubs and other organizations,” says Schneider.  The resulting body of work creates a rich portrait of a group of Americans whose lives began at the turn of the millennium and who are coming of age now.

The resulting exhibition includes approximately 20 large photographic prints, a 60-minute film running continuously, and an archive where visitors can view pictures of each of the 13-year-olds, along with some of their statements. The portraits illustrate how differently the age of 13 can appear. Some subjects exude confidence while others practically shrink from the camera.  Some 13-year-olds look mature enough to be mistaken for young college students, while others dwell in childlike bodies.  Some of the 13-year-olds convey a self-possessed clarity and appear motivated about the future while others appear comfortably ensconced in the current moment.  The subjects’ words heighten these disparities, and further suggest that the 250 portraits represent 250 distinctly unique people, a group about whom it would be hard to generalize or make assumptions.

“With this work I am interested in provoking thought about simple dichotomies to which adolescence is so often reduced.  I am motivated by the intensity, the complexity and the beauty of that point in life.  I wonder not only about the experience of early adolescence, but also about how we as adults retain that experience and how it shapes us for the rest of our lives and impacts the painful, vital and powerful experience of becoming an adult,” says Schneider of the project.

We learn that a number of 13-year-olds are struggling – to understand who they are, to deal with the parameters of their life, to grapple with big concerns of this historical moment – while others struggle just to talk about themselves and their inner lives.  These myriad and intensely personal revelations parallel the artist’s own deeply personal motivation for the project.  Schneider writes, “In creating this work I have drawn from my personal and intimate relations to the subject, both as a parent of a thirteen-year-old and from dredging my own distant memories of this age.  The process of making these portraits and videos, and of being allowed into the lives of so many families, has been profound. I believe there is much to be learned by coming closer to what it means to be thirteen.”


"A spotlight on the Post-Millennial generation." — azcentral

"A state-spanning collection of candid portraits of teenagers... realized with the help of a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship." — i-D

"The awkwardness of becoming a teen, laid bare." — Huck


RELATED PROGRAMS 
 
May 4 | 6 p.m.
Be one of the first to see To Be Thirteen during First Friday! Admission to the Museum (including this exhibition) is free from 6 - 10 pm. Please see our event for more details.
 
May 16 | 6:30 p.m.
Join us in the gallery for a free reception celebrating the exhibition opening. The artist will be in attendance! Please see our event for more details.
 
May 17 | 4 p.m.
Circles of Support members are invited to join Becky Senf, the Norton Family Curator of Photography, for an exclusive Circles curator-led tour of the exhibition. Please see our event for more details.
 
 
To Be Thirteen: Photographs and Videos by Betsy Schneider is organized by Phoenix Art Museum, INFOCUS, the Photography Support Organization of Phoenix Art Museum, and the Center for Creative Photography.  It is made possible through the generosity of donors to the Museum’s annual fund.
 
The accompanying exhibition catalog, co-published by Phoenix Art Museum and Radius Books and available at The Museum Store, features all 250 photographic portraits, an essay about the project, and a booklet of the transcribed words of many of the 13-year-olds. Betsy Schneider is represented by Tilt Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. 
 

Admission is free for Museum Members, past and present members of the Military and youh aged 5 and under; included with general admission.

This exhibition is offered to the general public for free during voluntary donation, pay-what-you-can hours from 3–9 pm each Wednesday, from 6–10 pm on the First Friday of each month, and the second weekend of each month from 10 am–5 pm on Saturday and noon–5 pm on Sunday.

Interested in coming as a group? For group sales information, click here


Press Information

Media images and creditlines: Download Here
Press Release: Download Here
Media Contact: Margaree Bigler, Public Relations Manager, margaree.bigler@phxart.org
 


Exhibition Page: Betsy Schneider, Annika, Phoenix, AZ (detail), 2012. Photograph. Courtesy of the artist and Tilt Gallery.

Left: Betsy Schneider, Cameron, Tucson, AZ (detail)2012. Photograph. Courtesy of the artist and Tilt Gallery.

Middle: Betsy Schneider, Mary Elizabeth, Tempe, AZ (detail), 2012. Photograph. Courtesy of the artist and Tilt Gallery.

Right: Betsy Schneider, Adele, Tempe, AZ (detail), 2011. Photograph. Courtesy of the artist and Tilt Gallery.