Inside Information

Expression and Tracy’s young people

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Youth Photo Contest

Kimball High sophomore Rachel Maxfield (center) talks about her picture of a double rainbow that won the Publisher’s Choice award in the Celebrate Tracy Youth Photo Contest. Tracy Press Executive Editor Michael Langley (right) presented prizes to the winners during a reception for the artists and their families Wednesday evening at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.

Hello. This week I want you to do yourself a favor and make your way down to the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts to see Tracy through the eyes of our younger residents.

A few months ago, we asked for entries for the Celebrate Tracy Youth Photo Contest. I even went to art classrooms to personally pitch the project because I wanted these young people to know that we truly wanted to see what they see in our community. And we do — or we should.

I grew up in Tracy. I hear the teenage lament of a lot of my young neighbors: There’s nothing to DO in Tracy! Yes, there’s no D&B, no amusement park, but the almost three dozen young artists who submitted work for the photo contest give lie to that claim.

Some took images of hanging out at a taco stand. Others showed the places to see unusual things downtown. One took delight in finding new places that few in Tracy know about, while another took striking images of the kids in his neighborhood at play. Many of these youthful photographers submitted imagery of nature: flowers, skies, grass. They found beauty in the Tracy area as a place.

These artists — and they are artists — tell us something about what it is to be a Tracy resident. Our lives are so busy that often adults lose sight of Tracy as an ecosystem. Leave it to our kids to remind us about what is unique and special in our town.

Happiness and satisfaction is all about perspective. Now we have 34 new perspectives hanging on the walls of the city’s crown jewel, the Grand Theatre.

I am so pleased that the Grand Foundation, the community’s nonprofit group that provides funding and programming advice for the Grand Theatre, and the Grand Theatre staff — especially Kim Scarlata and William Wilson — partnered with us once again for the Celebrate Tracy Youth Photo Contest.

Now please go see it. The show ends next Saturday, May 18, so go see the work that these young artists produced and what it may tell you about this great city in which we all live.

Contact Executive Editor Michael Ellis Langley at or 830-4231.

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