Photo-sharing website aims to unite students in art during time of isolation
May 8, 2020
From Instagram to tumblr to Snapchat, there’s no shortage of photo-sharing platforms, but senior Eli Hinerfeld had a different goal in mind when he started his project “Collaboration.”
“Our goal was to unite people in a time of isolation,” Eli said.
Eli and his friend Gregor Egan, a student at the Lycée Français de Chicago, began selling shirts that they design to people around Chicago in December, but given the onset of COVID-19 and social distancing measures, they decided to change their mission.
“We decided that we didn’t want to sell a product,” Eli said. “Instead, we wanted our community to be able to contribute to a larger project.
“Collaboration” takes the form of a minimalistic website, centered around a vibrant collection of images that vary in subject.
“People can submit their favorite art, ideas, pictures, poems and quotes — anything creative,” Eli said.
While the visuals are simple, all of the content on display was made or produced by young Chicago artists, offering a unique snapshot of teen culture that wouldn’t be available on other platforms.
“We wanted to make a platform with the aesthetic of Instagram, VSCO or Pinterest, but without any form of likes, comments, or anything that could distract from the art,” Eli said. “We want people to enjoy the art for what it is, not what other people deem it to be.”
“Collaboration” is a way for students in and outside of Lab to share things that interest them.
Eli and Gregor launched the website in late March.
“We’ve received a bunch of art from creators who love to share their work,” Eli said. “So far, a lot of the people who have submitted have been close, artsy friends who have lots of art to share.”
U-High students, including Nolan Issa and Odysseas Nikas, have also had their work featured.
“I submitted some pictures I’ve taken over the past few years, like an image of two of my friends sitting on the bridge at Botany Pond at night,” Nolan said. “I really like how unique the website looks. “It avoids typical beauty standards which I think is really interesting and welcoming to submit to.”