Fine Art Photography Daily

Photographers Giving Back

Yesterday was a big day for photographers giving back in Los Angeles. In the afternoon, I attended an opening at the Armory in Pasadena of an exhibition by deaf photographers. Eyes of Deafness: Photography by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Adults was organized by Los Angeles photographer, Blair Wells, and supported by the Greater Los Angeles Agency for Deafness. This exhibition focuses on the artwork of deaf and hard of hearing adults who have rarely, if ever, used a camera. Employing disposable cameras (donated by CVS) they set out to capture their personal experiences and expressions, giving them the opportunity to communicate with the world in a manner they had not yet explored. The result of that idea what a fabulous exhibition, catalog, and an opening so filled with excitement, joy, and lots of animated signing. The exhibition is on display from February 20 – March 14. Congratulations to Blair for letting a seed of an idea grow into an incredible garden of expression and validation.

Last night was a gala auction event at the Stephen Cohen Gallery for Project 5: Photography for Social Change, which supports talented photojournalists and builds documentary photography through grants, exhibits and publications. It was an amazing evening full of celebrities, photographers, photo collectors and enthusiasts, and it was made even more meaningful when Chivy Sok, a human rights activist, shared stories of her life, being kidnapped as a child by the khmer Rogue and put into slave labor.

Actor and photographer Aaron Eckhart joined Julia Dean, founder of the Julia Dean Photo Workshops, for an exhibit and silent auction of more than 100 fantastic images taken by leading photographers from around the world, at the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles on February 20, 2010. The auction featured images from such nationally and internationally known photographers as Alex Webb, Art Streiber, Brian Lanker, David Hume Kennerly, Don Barletti, Douglas Kirkland, Gerd Ludwig, Greg Gorman, Mary Ellen Mark, Nevada Wier, Phil Borges, Robert Farber, Ron Haviv and Sam Abell.

Project 5’s auctions will raise money for a five-year series of photo documentary projects on five pressing social issues: child labor, educational access, health care, immigration, economic globalization. The February 2010 auction raised funds to complete Dean’s current collaborative project, Child Labor and the Global Village.

“Photographers look through their lenses at society and the environment, but they also see through their hearts,” says Dean, the Los Angeles documentary photographer who founded Project 5. “As the economy takes a toll on the traditional patrons of documentary photography, such as newspapers and magazines, new support is needed. We must not lose a generation of important stories.”

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