Eye on Third Ward showcases photographs by students in the Magnet School of Communications at Jack Yates High School. Since 1995, photography classes at Yates have focused on Houston’s Third Ward neighborhood, and select images are presented in the annual Eye on Third Ward exhibitions at the MFAH.
A historically black community, Third Ward is home to many important political, cultural, and educational organizations as well as strong religious and community groups. The neighborhood is surrounded by two universities, the Medical Center, Museum District, and Interstate 45. Yates High School’s photography teacher, Ray C. Carrington III, challenges each student to record images that express Third Ward’s distinctive identity. Students take photographs during class time as Carrington walks with them through the neighborhood.
After 17 years, the Third Ward neighborhood continues to yield surprising discoveries. For the 2012 exhibition, many of the talented teens not only capture daily life in Third Ward, they also record personal moments and self-reflections about their faith, their future, and their transition into young adulthood. Along with the photographs, they share statements and poems that offer a glimpse at these students' views of the world around them and their place within it.