On Saturday, Feb. 6, Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists at the Farnsworth Art Museum will open “Midcoast Maine — More than Meets the Eye,” a photographic celebration of working waterfronts from Port Clyde to Belfast as seen through the eyes of teen photographers.

The exhibition marks the culmination of the Photo Treks program, a dynamic collaboration between Julia’s Gallery, Trekkers and Maine Media Workshops. The exhibition will be celebrated with a reception at Julia’s Gallery, open to the public and free of charge, from 4 to 6 p.m. The snow date for the opening reception is Sunday, Feb. 7. Julia’s Gallery is located on the corner of Union and Elm streets.

“Midcoast Maine — More than Meets the Eye” showcases the photographs of 17 students and five mentors who used digital photography to explore Midcoast Maine’s working waterfronts as a theme for documentary storytelling during the 10-week Photo Treks program led by photographer Matt Smolinsky. The young photographers, ranging in age from 12 to 17, represent seven towns and six schools from Cushing to Belfast. Their diverse and compelling photographs highlight waterfront workers, boats, birds, lobster crackers, buoys and much more.

In many cases, seemingly simple objects have been redefined and elevated through the students’ creative processes. As Liz Janczura, a student at Georges Valley High School, said, “To some people, a hose may not be artistic but when you get the right angle and intensify the color, that lonely overlooked hose becomes art.”

Throughout the 10-week Photo Treks program, participants traveled on the Trekkers bus to explore field locations including Wayfarer Marine in Camden, the Fisherman’s Co-op and Herring Gut Learning Center in Port Clyde, the Rockland Ferry Terminal, Belfast Harbor and Owls Head. To develop a full picture of the economic and environmental challenges facing working waterfronts today, the young photographers were treated to private conversations with local community members such as fishermen, marina managers, scientists and wharf workers. The week following each field expedition, students processed their experience using state-of-the-art digital editing software at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport.

The resulting photography exhibition is a testament to the depth of the students’ experience in the field and the lab. Zachary Stern, a student at Camden-Rockport Middle School said, “I hope that visitors learn to look at things differently when they see my photos. What’s normal to one person is absurdly strange to another. The beauty of the world is its diversity.”

“Midcoast Maine — More than Meets the Eye” will be on display through March 7. It is supported in part by Barbara and Peter McSpadden. During the exhibition, Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a special gallery talk with the Julia’s Gallery and Trekkers participants Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m.

Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists is an award-winning, afterschool and summer arts program at the Farnsworth Art Museum that provides students with the opportunity to contribute to their community by creating, curating and critiquing art in a fun and supportive environment. For more information about “Midcoast Maine— More than Meets the Eye” or other programs of Julia’s Gallery, contact Rachel Nixon at 596-6457, ext. 146 or rachel@farnsworthmuseum.org.

For more information about Trekkers, a nonprofit, outdoor-based mentoring program that connects caring adults with young people through expeditionary learning, community service and adventure-based education, visit trekkersonline.com or contact Meredith Lynt at 594-5095 or meredith@trekkersonline.com.

For more information about Maine Media Workshops, an international center for education and training in photography, filmmaking, multimedia and design and book arts, visit mainemedia.edu, call 236-8581 or send e-mail info@mainemedia.edu.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.