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New Light Work exhibit and related projects feature work of internationally renowned artist and educator Wendy Ewald
New Light Work exhibit and related projects feature work of internationally renowned artist and educator Wendy EwaldAugust 09, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarezjlwinne@syr.edu
The Light Work gallery, located at 316 Waverly Ave., will feature the work of internationally renowned artist and educator Wendy Ewald in the upcoming exhibition “Secret Games: Wendy Ewald Collaborative Works with Children, 1969-1999.” The exhibit runs Aug. 15-Oct. 15 and consists of approximately 100 images taken in Chiapas, Mexico; Canada; Kentucky; and North Carolina. Ewald will present a lecture at the gallery, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m., with a reception and book signing immediately following. All events are free and open to the public.
For over 30 years, Ewald has taken an unusual artistic path, exploring the visual imaginations of children and adults around the world in a sustained evolving artistic project. Addressing conceptual, formal and narrative concerns, Ewald’s work challenges traditional notions of documentary photography and the role of the artist. Using creative collaboration as the basis for the artistic process, she has traveled throughout the world, working in communities in Labrador, Appalachia, Colombia, India, South America, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico and the United States.
Starting as a documentary of places and communities connected to teaching, Ewald’s project has evolved to focus on questions of identity and cultural difference. In all projects, she partners her keen observational and creative skills with her subjects’ visual inventions. She encourages children to use cameras to create portraits of self and community and to articulate their own personal fantasies, dreams and hopes.
Ewald herself makes photographs, sometimes giving her negatives to collaborators to mark and write on, mixing the images in such a way that it is challenging to know whoactually “created” a given image. In blurring the distinction of individual authorship and throwing into doubt the artist’s identity, Ewald crosses the border that separates the photographer from the subject and creates a new artistic form.
Syracuse University’s Soling Program will provide classes, workshops and community-based projects related to the exhibition for SU students throughout the year, including training in Ewald’s “Literacy Through Photography” program. Light Work has also invited the Duke Center for Documentary Studies to conduct a workshop for Syracuse city schoolteachers and community activists.
Ewald’s Sept. 13 lecture will be the first hosted by the Syracuse Symposium. SU’s Soling Program, Syracuse Symposium, Light Work and the College of Visual and Performing Arts have funded the exhibition and related projects.
Gallery hours for the exhibition are Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, contact Mary Lee Hodgens at Light Work/Community Darkrooms at (315) 443-5785. Light Work is a non-profit, artist-run organization dedicated to the support of artists working in photography and electronic media.