The Democratic Republic of Congo has been ravaged by civil war for over two decades, with intermittent ceasefires unable to hold for long. The majority of the fighting stems from ethnic divisions, with the Ituri province in the northeast of the country worst hit by recent violence. Tension between Ituri’s two main ethnic groups, the Lendu and Hema, can be traced back to the colonial period when the area was part of the Belgian Congo. The Belgian colonial administrators favored the pastoralist Hema, resulting in education and wealth disparities between the two groups. Many disputes between Lendu and Hema relate to land ownership claims. Estimates put the number of displaced Congolese at 400,000, and 40,000 refugees have left the country for refugee camps in Uganda.
Almost all of the displaced from the Ituri region are Hema, while the United Nations says nearly 80 percent of those, who have fled to Uganda are women and children. After crossing Lake Albert by boat, the refugees arrive in Sebagaro, from where they are transferred to Kyangwali refugee camp in Uganda. In addition to overcrowding and lack of sanitation, nearly 2,000 cases of cholera, which is endemic in eastern Congo, have been reported in Kyangwali.
Photojournalist Andrew Renneisen compiled the following photo report for The Washington Post on the plight of Congolese refugees fleeing for their lives from Ituri to Uganda. We spoke with Andrew about reporting on such a harrowing story and what he has learned from his experiences.
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Maciej is a Polish photographer, traveller, and educator. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science but abandoned science in 2009 to focus on photography. He is one of the founders of Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff and member of the international street photography collective In-Public. He has worked on various photographic projects, judged numerous photography competitions, organized and lead countless photography workshops, and his interests are in documentary, travel and street photography.
Maciej’s photos have been widely published and exhibited around the world, shown at photo festivals and he is a recipient of numerous awards. He was profiled in two major street photography books published by Thames & Hudson – “Street Photography Now” in 2010 and “The World Atlas of Street Photography” in 2014. Maciej’s first monograph “Cardiff After Dark” was published in October 2012. Maciej is currently based in Bangkok, Thailand.
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On May 24, 2018, Goldenview Classical Academy celebrated the unveiling of an original work of art by Denver artist Anna Rose Bain, commissioned for the school by Hillsdale College. The 48x38” oil painting is a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln drafting his Second Inaugural Address. The unveiling was accompanied by some excellent remarks by Goldenview’s principal, Dr. Robert Garrow, and a narration of the entire address from memory by a group of the school’s 5th graders. Dr. Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, was in attendance that evening and assisted with the unveiling.
The following contains the artist’s thoughts and documentation of the complete process for creating this portrait, in the hopes that the next generation of young artists and creatives will benefit from it as an educational tool. May they be inspired to create excellent work of their own, for the benefit of us all.
I graduated from Hillsdale College in 2007 with a major in art. By this time, Dr. Larry Arnn had been president of the college for several years, and he had and still has an incredible talent for remembering every student’s name and something interesting about them.
Nearly ten years later, in the fall of 2016, Dr. Arnn visited Goldenview Classical Academy, which had only just opened the year before, and gave a talk in downtown Denver about Hillsdale College. I happened to be in the audience that night. At the end of the event, I stuck around to shake his hand. He remembered me immediately and said that he thought I should create some artwork for the charter school he had just toured that day.
I was put in touch with assistant to the principal Kate Lochner, who then helped me set up my first meeting with Dr. Garrow. When he showed me around the school in early 2017, the meeting was impactful for us both. I was blown away by the standards of excellence and classical ideals demonstrated by the academy, which so clearly aligned with my own experience as a Hillsdale grad; Dr. Garrow was thrilled with the idea of making an original piece of art to uphold those standards even more.
And so, the dialog began. Dr. Arnn, with his big-picture thinking, said simply, “Just make it great.” Dr. Garrow came up with the concept—Lincoln drafting his Second Inaugural Address, and I was the artist chosen to execute it.
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About Brooke Shaden
Brooke explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears.
After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography in 2008 - excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay.
Ultimately, her process is more discovery than creation. She follows her curiosity into the unknown to see whom her characters might become. Brooke believes the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes and experience into a representation of one's potential.
While her images come from a personal place of exploration, the goal in creating is not only to satisfy herself; her greatest wish is to show others a part of themselves. Art is a mirror for the creator and the observer.
Brooke's passion is storytelling, and her life is engulfed in it. From creating self-portraits and writing to international adventures and motivational speeches, she wants to live a thousand lives in one. She keeps her curiosity burning to live a truly interesting story.
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The traditional practice of street photography is often characterized by candid moments, gestures and facial expressions of passersby, brought together into shots and series united by the singular gaze of a photographer through the lens of their camera. But since the inception of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment,” the definition of this medium has slowly undergone a transformation, incorporating fresh perspectives and evolving styles best exemplified in the self-portrait work of photographers like Vivian Maier, Lee Friedlander, and André Kertész.
One photographer embracing this particular change is İlker Karaman, who incorporates the traditional subject matter of street scenes by relegating them as the backdrop for what he’s really seeking out: an understanding of his own position in his surroundings. Addressing why he began making a street series that reveals his own presence through shadows and reflections, Karaman explains, “We aren’t accustomed to seeing a photographer in his photograph. I realized that if the photographer places himself within the photo in a smart way, this creates a visual puzzle, inviting viewers to ask, ‘How?’ With this question in mind, each photograph becomes more interesting and eye-catching.”
The title for this venture, In Search of Myself, is thus particularly apt. Karaman explains the significance behind his endless visual journey, reflecting, “Examining oneself to find out who you are is one of the oldest pursuits for us human beings. My character and my knowledge are shaped by the environment that I live in, and my photographic practice incorporates codes from my understanding of this life. I’m trying to discover myself in my photos. In this series, I tried to make myself visible in each frame to emphasize my research into understanding who I am.”
Photography has long been a tool for self-discovery and personal reflection, and it’s interesting to blur the lines between this personal journey and the traditional genre of street. When asked why he specifically returns to photography to explore these personal themes, Karaman explains, “To be aware of visual beauty around us is not so easy for us in the modern world. We live in hurry and want to be faster to fulfill our responsibilities, and then there is no time left to discover our environment. We neglect the beauty, even if it is so close to us. I want to visually show people what they have come to ignore in their daily lives on the streets, through my own presence within them.”
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By Elizabeth Robbins
Why do some people get picked up by galleries and others don’t?
I recently participated in a discussion about what it takes to be a professional artist.
Was it just talent that separates us?
Was it great marketing?
My response to the audience was that I knew there were people in the audience that had more talent than some of us on the stage. So what, if any, were the differences between those sitting on the stage and those in the audience?
First and foremost, artists are a tribe. We think alike, we “get” each other and tend to gravitate toward other creatives. I find myself most comfortable among other creatives, but aren’t we all artists in some fashion?
Every human has the spark of creativity in them, so what makes one person become a professional artist making a living from their artwork and another person unable to make that jump to “professional.”
Here are the seven commonalities that I have found among the artists that I film for educational videos:
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By Hannah Dellinger email@example.com
Myron Barnstone was afraid to show his artwork to the public.
He didn’t think the world was ready for his intricate ink and color pieces depicting twisted bodies writhing in pain, people trapped in boxes and tortured faces reminiscent of scenes from a nuclear holocaust.
“Before he died, there was almost a show in Maine,” said Catherine Barnstone Szafran, his daughter. “And at the time, he said, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready for the world to see my work. It’s pretty dark. I might scare people.’ And I think that’s kind of part of why he passed when he did: because it was time to get his work out. He did not want to see people’s reactions.”
Barnstone’s work was displayed in a solo exhibit for the first time in 50 years in “Emotions: How Art Awakens the Soul” gallery opening on Sunday at The ArtistAngle Gallery in Frederick. His daughter brought his unique and vividly surreal pieces back to life after they had been locked away out of sight for years. Now, Barnstone Szafran is selling her father’s paintings and prints to support an initiative to continue his legacy through learning programs and scholarships for artists.
The artist was internationally-known until the mid-70s, his daughter said. At that point, he became a single father and wanted to give up being a professional artist to spend more time with his daughter. So, he opened an art school.
“He put all of his work, except for about five pieces, into storage,” Barnstone Szafran said. “And none of his students ever saw it. He didn’t want to influence how they saw things.”
Barnstone Szafran said she wants artists to continue to have access to her father’s teachings. She’s made recordings of his classes available on the Barnstone Studios website and has enlisted artists across the country as master guides in the program.
“His approach is not what today’s approach is,” the daughter explained. “Today’s approach in many ways is: Be creative. Go with the flow. As far as he was concerned, there was no creativity until you learned the language. He didn’t want to inspire anybody along this line. That wasn’t his goal. He wanted them to find their own voice.”
Barnstone’s own artistic voice was rare and raw. Even though his style was fluid through the years, he never lost his voice. From the gritty and gloomy pen sketches hanging in the gallery to the soft, floral, flowy, anatomical paintings, it’s clear they were made by Barnstone.
Barnstone Szafran, who is an accomplished photographer in her own right, learned the craft from her father. She said she hopes to honor his commitment to fostering creativity for as long as she can.
“I know he’s here,” she said, motioning around the gallery full of his work. “And I know he’s happy.”
Adrienne Stein (b. 1986) is an award-winning artist living and working in Pennsylvania. She holds an MFA from Boston University and a BFA Magna Cum Laude, from Laguna College of Art & Design. Adrienne studied under many gifted and influential instructors throughout the United States, France, and Italy. Her work reanimates historical painting genres forming a bridge to the present with fresh insight and imagery.
The worlds she paints are inhabited by figures, folklore, archetypes, and natural elements that are fueled by a sense of personal as well as universal myth. Close friends and family members are reinterpreted in lush and magical environments that form the nexus between reality and fantasy, expressed through an unconscious world of symbolic imagery. She has received numerous awards from organizations such as The Portrait Society of America, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, and The Art Renewal Center. Her work is collected in the U.S. and abroad.
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