Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Worldly women

Photo exhibition reveals women from developing nations

Express Staff Writer

"Laundry, Nepali Style" by Adelaide Mason. Color photograph at the Anne Reed Gallery.

More than five decades ago, Edward Steichen mounted a very influential photography exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City called "The Family of Man." The 503 photos by 273 photographers in 68 countries were selected from almost 2 million images submitted by famous as well as unknown photographers. The exhibition became one of the first photography books of its kind and had a forward by Carl Sandburg, Steichen's brother-in-law.

In February of this year, Peggy Elliott Goldwyn introduced The Family of Woman Film Festival in Ketchum. The festival sought to raise funds for the United Nations Population Fund, of which Goldwyn is a board member.

Now Goldwyn has initiated the Family of Woman, a juried exhibition of photographs taken by Wood River Valley women of other women in developing countries. The exhibition and reception at the Anne Reed Gallery, opening Tuesday, Oct. 7, will serve as a fundraiser and opportunity to inform the community about the work of Americans for United Nations Population Fund. All the photographs were taken where the population fund is active: Latin America, Africa, India, the Middle East, the Far East and Southeast Asia.

The organization's mission is to promote reproductive health and the rights of women in these regions.

"During The Family of Woman Film Festival we discovered there were many wonderful local women photographers who had traveled throughout the developing world," Goldwyn said. "This led to the decision to celebrate their work, as well as to continue to bring attention to the wonderful work done by the United Nations Population Fund for women and their families."

Besides Goldwyn, the event committee is made up of Kendall Nelson, Stephanie Perenchio, Barbi Reed, Robin Leavitt and Maryanne Whitcomb.

The exhibition will include Patricia Draper's photographs from Peru, Mali and Senegal; Jennifer Jaros Jacoby's photos from Nepal; artist Gay Bawa Odmark's images from India and Sharon Hammer's photos from Vietnam, Madagascar and Jordan. The youngest of the photographers is Adelaide Mason, who will show photographs of daily life in Nepal. Professional photographer Kendall Nelson will show photos she took on an Americans for UNFPA delegation to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, as well as images from Mongolia. Others are Mary Grant Coster with images from Uganda; Gina Poole with a photograph from Lamu, Kenya; Gemma Valdez Daggatt with images from a population fund delegation trip to Cambodia and Barbi Reed with photographs from Haiti, Myanmar and Tibet. Stephanie Perenchio will show images from Kenya and Uganda and Goldwyn will have a continuous slide show of images from UNFPA delegation trips to Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi and Ethiopia.

"I am privileged to have one of my photographs in a touring exhibition of Americans for UNFPA," Reed said. "However, rather than bring that installation here, I encouraged Peggy to consider an exhibition selected from some of the amazing Wood River Valley women photographers. The submissions, as I suspected, were wonderful and diverse. This special exhibition celebrates women photographers and the incredible imagery that honors women and children in some of the over 90 countries in which UNFPA has a presence."

The cocktail reception will be open to the public. The artists and representatives from the United Nations Population Fund will be present to answer questions. In addition and for a full evening experience, three Ketchum restaurants—CIRO, Riccabona and Ketchum Grill—will offer a 10 percent discount on food with a ticket acquired at the reception.

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