Yael Ben-Zion is a New York-based visual artist whose work considers the relationship of the personal to the political and social. She usually works on long-term lens-based projects that involve extensive research and continuing collaboration with her subjects, on or off camera. Yael was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Israel. She is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (LL.B/MBA), Yale Law School (LL.M; J.S.D) and the International Center of Photography (GS). Yael’s work has been exhibited in the United States, Europe and Israel, and is included in the MTA-Artists Unite Subway Elevator Poster Project. She is the recipient of ICP’s Directors’ Scholarship Award, the International Photography Awards and grants from NoMAA and the Puffin Foundation. Yael’s first monograph, 5683 miles away (Kehrer, 2010), was selected as one of photo-eye’s Best Books of 2010 and for the PDN Photo Annual 2011. Intermarried (Kehrer, 2014), her second monograph, was selected for American Photography 30 and featured, among others, in the NY Times Sunday Review, PDN Magazine and the Forward.
"My TAP internship included a full residency at PS 279 in the Bronx with CWP Teaching Artists Chaya Badu and Tanya Everett. I also helped CWP Teaching Artist Felipe Galindo painting murals at PS 132 in Washington Heights. In both schools I worked with special ed classes. Watching my mentors bring the ideas and methods we discussed in our TAP training - and their hearts - into the classroom was an amazing experience. I learned first hand how the notions of addressing multiple intelligences, community building and trust can be implemented, and how students flourish in an environment that is engaging and safe. The program also made me appreciate the synergy between different art forms, and the importance of collaboration on all levels, be it with your teaching partner, the class teacher or students themselves."
Most Memorable TAP Moment:
"During a class at PS 279 that dealt with making a change in our communities, students where asked to respond to a prompt regarding a challenge their community faced. Within a few minutes, I saw the three female students I worked with transforming into fierce advocates, figuring out ways to organize their community and prevent an unwanted situation (a city plan to turn a local park into a parking lot). It was a beautiful and inspiring moment."
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