WORKSHOP COMMENTS

“It has been my pleasure to have worked with photographer/educator Len Bernstein through his participation on two CASA Cultural Afterschool projects for the South Street Seaport Museum. His knowledge and passion about photography inspired his students in two of our programs. While he conveyed the technical aspects of photography in a clear and user-friendly manner, what makes him such a wonderful teacher is his ability to impart a way of seeing that enables others to know themselves better and express what they feel about the world around them. Based on the methodology of the poet and founder of Aesthetic Realism, Eli Siegel, students learn that opposites—like logic and feeling, sameness and difference, oneself and the outside world—are merged in art, and don’t have to collide within us. As a result, his students become not only better photographers, but kinder and thoughtful individuals. This was evident in the most recent project at the Urban Assembly School of Business for Young Women under a grant from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs’ Cultural After School Adventures Program.”Yvonne Simons, Deputy Executive Director, South Street Seaport Museum

“With Aesthetic Realism as his critical approach, Len Bernstein immediately connected to his audience and presented not only technical information and historical perspectives about photography, but a thrilling explanation of how the beauty of a photograph can have us better understand the questions of our lives.”Donna Ciampa-Lauria, Director, Queens Library, Flushing, NY

“Your presentation was extraordinary!  You really connected with a lot of members and certainly delivered a presentation that exceeded my criteria for presenters which is to ‘Inform, Inspire, and Challenge!’”Jack Renner, President, Photographers’ Guild, Newport Art Museum, RI

“Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to educate our youngsters about photography and the immense connection it has to our daily lives.”Benny Urena, Assistant Principal, Foreign Languages & the Arts Department, Norman Thomas High School, Manhattan, NY

“I witnessed the good effect of Len Bernstein’s knowledge as photography educator during our collaboration on a 4-month English Language Arts project for my kindergarten students in New York City. The result of this project based on the Aesthetic Realism principle stated by Eli Siegel, “The world, art, and self explain each other: each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites”—is that children were eager to be expressed, learned how to write and read words and simultaneously, became more ethical thinkers!”Lori Colavito, elementary school teacher, Southampton Elementary School, NY; Children’s Art Instructor and Professional Development Educator

“Thank you for your positive effect on the students. You were able to reach them, and say things to them they needed to hear.”Ira Merritt, photography teacher, High School of Art and Design, Manhattan, NY

“I found your lecture to be inspiring and applicable to my personal vision as a photographer and as an educator.”Jaclyn Roberts, photography teacher, High School of Art and Design, Manhattan, NY

“Len Bernstein captivated his audience through lecture and hands-on activities in the outdoors, as they learned to capture the moment through the lens of a camera. Participants at Sullivan County Community College gave an outstanding rating to this workshop.”Ellen Galligan, Ed.D., Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs,
Sullivan County Community College, NY

“Len Bernstein's presentation to my students at New York Institute of Technology—grounded in the great teaching method of Aesthetic Realism—was a tour-de-force!  The scholarship behind it was thorough and deep; the critical insight into the beauty of the art of photography was original and keen.  Particularly gripping was his sharing with students questions he himself heard about the relation of art and life in classes taught by Eli Siegel, the renowned poet and scholar who founded Aesthetic Realism.  In the days afterwards, students who already knew they loved photography told me their love had deepened, and many who had barely an interest in the subject said they were now eager to learn more about it. This was a freshman class; in a college that has astonishing cultural diversity (my class of 25 students represented 13 different countries of origin).  Len Bernstein, with grace and skill found a way to communicate to them all.”Edward Green, PhD, New York Institute of Technology, Manhattan, NY

“I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the workshop. I see many things differently now and it is quite fulfilling. I have you to thank for that.”Joe Csuka, Creative Arts Workshop, CT