Wednesday, November 12, 2008
FACING PEACE Struggles, Strengths, Strategies of Families Surviving Violence
Photographs by Lisa Kessler & artwork by survivor families
Exhibition November 6 - December 8, 2008
Opening Reception with photographer, Peace Institute staff, and participating families:
Friday, November 14, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Artist Talk: Thursday, November 20, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Marran Gallery at Lesley University Student Center
Corner of Mellen & Oxford Streets, Cambridge, MA (Harvard Sq. T – 10 min. walk)
FACING PEACE – Struggles, Strengths, Strategies of Families Surviving Violence is an exhibition celebrating the strength of survivors of homicide victims, and showcasing the collaboration between Boston photographer Lisa Kessler, the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, and Lesley University.
The exhibition includes Kessler’s photographic portraits of families involved with the Peace Institute – a Dorchester organization founded to assist the families of homicide victims - as well as artwork created by the survivor families. Facing Peace shines a light on the broad, rippling effects of street violence and the survival strategies of families working towards peace.
The families participating in this exhibition want to be seen and heard. They are both struggling with and finding strength from the Peace Institute’s seven principles: love, unity, faith, hope, courage, justice and the f-word, forgiveness. They have rejected the familiar paths of retaliation, shame and isolation. They want their murdered children to be valued, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the death, and for their surviving children to grow up in safe environments, recognized for their human worth rather than being seen as statistics waiting to happen.
They want their struggles and their strengths to contribute to building a culture of peace. The photographs and the exhibition FACING PEACE – Struggles, Strengths, Strategies of Families Surviving Violence are a collective strategy, part of creating a vision and a forum for action that is larger than any of us as individuals, families or institutions.
About the Artist:
Lisa Kessler is a Boston based photographer whose photographs and short film have been recognized by the Honickman Foundation/Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, Pictures of the Year International, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her work has been exhibited nationally and is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She teaches photography at area colleges and works for editorial, corporate and non-profit clients.
About the Peace Institute:
The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute was founded to assist and support the families of homicide victims in the most difficult times of their lives. The Peace Institute has a fully integrated curriculum for all students that prepares them to deal with trauma and grief, build non-violence and conflict resolution skills, and commit themselves to peace work in their families and their communities. The Peace Institute is committed to restorative justice theories and building sustainable peace in our home communities.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I was invited to review graduate and under graduate portfolio’s at the Society for Photographic Education Mid Atlantic conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Carnegie Mellon was the host university and Collette Copeland organized an excellent event for the weekend. I was impressed with the speakers and the general support of the photographic community.
The students’ images were strong and they each demonstrated a solid body of work. They all were working on various subjects and themes. One young woman was using photography to explore uncomfortable topics, ranging from teen sexuality and suicide. Her images provided an opportunity to open a dialogue about these issues. Another young woman was using a variety of cameras, from pinhole and Holgas up to 4x5 to explore her environment. A young man named Andrew, recently back from duty in Afghanistan, was producing some beautiful black & white landscape images.
I was very impressed by the work of a young woman, Paulina Waksmundzki, from Penn State University. She has an excellent command of lighting and structure in her images. I encourage you to visit her website at www.pwphotography.moonfruit.com and enjoy her work.
My thanks to Collette Copeland for inviting me to the conference. You can view her work at http://colettecopeland.com/about.htm
Monday, November 3, 2008
Thanks to everyone who came to the NIK Software seminar at E. P. Levine last week. There was a great demo by Janice Wendt using NIK Silver Efex for B&W workflow. Kathy Skarvan showed beautiful frames from her company Ava Art.