The journal of the Center for Documentary Arts, a nonprofit initiative to bear witness to suffering and promote the common good through the arts. At the crossroads of art, ethics, faith, and social justice, the Center brings together makers and thinkers whose work advances beauty, compassion, collaboration, dignity, and mercy.

15 September 2010


We are halfway through our monthlong campaign to match the $10,000 challenge grant from Chet and Karen Opalka (see previous post, "A $10,000 Vote of Confidence," for details). Our goal is to double their gift by the end of September, and interest has been steadily increasing as a number of new supporters have come in to help with the effort.  Every dollar we raise effectively becomes two when placed beside the Opalka funds. Thank you to everyone who has assisted, and welcome to all who will join in.

 Balazs Gardi, Afghan man holds a wounded boy
 outside their house in Yaka China village, Korengal Valley,
Kunar Province,  East Afghanistan, October 2007

The funds are certainly appreciated now that we have moved into the production phase for the exhibition Battlesight.  If you're new to the blog, please see the Pages section of the sidebar to read about this exciting exhibit featuring three international photographers covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This is not a pre-existing or traveling show, but an original exhibit organized by the Center for Documentary Arts for the Capital Region.  The show will feature new prints of all the images, printed by NancyScans Corporation in Chatham, New York. These are the same folks who printed the photographs for Richard Prince's 30-year retrospective at the Guggenheim three years ago, and the quality is stunning. The images themselves are powerful and important. The photographers--Cheryl Diaz Meyer, Balazs Gardi, and Teru Kuwayama--bear witness to the reality of war for combatants and civilians alike. There are moments of courage, of suffering, of heroic endurance and grace. 

Battlesight opens October 22 at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, New York, with the public reception on Troy Night Out, October 29. The show runs through December 19. 

Cheryl Diaz Meyer, US Marine Corporal Richard
Cope, 23, of Michaigan,  enjoys the scent of a rose
from the gardens of Baghdad College, April, 2003 

Shows of this technical and artistic caliber seldom originate in the Capital Region, and I am looking forward to presenting this work here first.  My hope is that from Troy we will be able to travel the exhibit to other venues outside the region. Arrangements for that are in the works. I am in the homestretch with preparations, overseeing the framing, preparing the catalog, contacting the press, planning events. Lots of work, but it is a privilege and a joy to be doing it on behalf of the artists and their extraordinary work.

Teru Kuwayama, Ruins of Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002

Save the dates: Battlesight is organized in collaboration with the five-day conference Veterans Week 2010, organized by The Sage Colleges for November 8-12. For more information, follow the Veterans Week 2010 link in the sidebar. On December 9, the Center for Documentary Arts will hold a symposium at the Arts Center on battlefield photography featuring three generations of war photographers, from World War II to the present.  I will post details about that event as it gets closer.

Thank you everyone for your interest and support.

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