Rachel Papo


on view: April 18 – June 14, 2015

opening reception: Saturday 5-7pm, April 18, 2015

 The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) is pleased to announce its spring 2015 solo exhibition Homeschooled. The exhibition will be on view from April 18 – June 14, 2015 in CPW’s Kodak Gallery.

For over a decade, the American-born Israeli photographer Rachel Papo has been examining the experience of youth within the framework of various cultural institutions. Papo’s photographic research is comprehensive yet 
specific – from female conscripts in the Israeli Army to ballet students in St. Petersburg, Russia, to crazed fans of boy bands across the United States. Drawn to documenting groups of people who are in stages of their lives that echo her own past experiences, Papo’s most recent explorations bring her photojournalistic approach with an emphasis on portraiture into the world of homeschooled youth in Upstate New York.

While living in Woodstock, NY with her husband and baby daughter, Papo developed her interest in counter-culture education. As criticism of the U.S. education system grew on a national level she decided to explore this controversial topic in depth and challenge her own prejudgments on the issue. In 2011, she began to photograph a small number of families living in the Catskills, who practice homeschooling. Papo focused particularly on the children, in an attempt to capture what she describes as “their spirit, and the meaning of growing up outside the conventional four classroom walls.”

As Papo continued to photograph these children, she followed them into their respective mysterious, magical worlds – ones which emphasize an embrace of nature over time spent on a bus or in a formal classroom; ones that focus on religion and music; and environs that nurture a child’s imagination – shunning the formal systems utilized in the public educational system that their parents believe enforces rigidity and suppresses creativity.

Rachel devoted two years to her photographic research noting, “though it is still a heated topic, the number of home schooled children in America continues to grow. Together with today’s increasingly fast-paced, connected culture, the choice to homeschool seems an almost natural alternative for many families.”

Born in Ohio and raised in Israel, Rachel Papo began working as a photojournalist in the late 1990s and received her MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in 2005. Her works have been exhibited worldwide, including at ClampArt Gallery (New York, NY); Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA); Paul Kopeikin Gallery, (Los Angeles, CA); and Photographic Center Northwest (Seattle, WA). Since 2005 Papo’s photographs have been published in over 15 countries.

She has received numerous awards including a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and was a finalist for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2006. Rachel was selected in 2009 and 2012 as a Critical Mass Top 50 winner. In 2009 she received the “Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year” award from the Lucie Foundation, and was featured in the “Discoveries of the Meeting Place” exhibition as part of the 2010 Fotofest Biennial. A 
monograph of her series Serial No. 3817131, documenting female soldiers in Israel, was published by powerHouse Books in 2008. In 2011 photographs from that body of work were selected to be included in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s acclaimed traveling exhibition WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath.

Papo’s works are included in several public and private collections, including those of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Berlin, Germany.


Homeschooled will be on view from Saturday, April 18, 2015, through Sunday, June 14, 2015. CPW galleries are free & open to the public Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm and by appointment.

CPW is located at 59 Tinker Street, Woodstock New York 12498.


Rachel Papo will be giving an informal artist talk during the opening reception on Saturday, April 18, 2015. CPW invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition Homeschooled.


To request high resolution images for press reproduction and interviews with the exhibition artists, contact CPW by clicking here

Image Credit: Rachel Papo, Roan with the Outhouse Guestbook, 2012, (detail), Digital C-Print, 16×24”. Courtesy of ClampArt, NYC.