Well, it appears that the Children of Heaven pictures will have another two venues… one will be in a small program at the Havre de Grace library, October 21st at 6:30 pm and then again in January at the New Visions for Women conference at Harford Community College. These small windows of opportunity make be think I must not lose heart in sharing the pictures. I also think I think I need to find a way to display them here. It’s a long overdue project.
There’s good news and bad news. I am still so committed to the pictures that the kids from Namibia and Zambia took… and I also feel strongly about my own images, but how to get them out to the public? I created a book of photographs with just the Children of Zion kids’ pictures, but these standard photo books are too pricey to allow for a donation on top of it. I’d like to do an exhibit but the cost is simply prohibitive at this time for me as an individual. So, now what? I have the raw materials and the vision for something that could be wonderful, but not the means to implement it.
This one I lay at God’s throne. May His Grace give me wisdom for birthing this project in a more tangible way.
1. Create photograpy books of the children’s work… sell as a fundraiser for the children’s home
2. Create individual prints of the best shots and sell as fundraisers online for individual photographers in the children’s homes or organizations
3. Create an exhibit of photos of both the kids’ shots and my own shots
4. Get not for profit status for Children of Heaven to allow for donations directly into the organization
5. Partner with other photographers and artists committed to raising funds for children around the world in crisis
6. Build a body of work of children (and by children) who are in crisis
7. Build a traveling exhibit of their works to tell their stories
8. Create a robust online presence to tell their stories, show their work, support their needs, build relationships
9. Partner with other nonprofit and faith-based organizations serving orphans around the world
10. Giving and nurturing the arts in these children as a way of expressing their truths, their hopes, their lives
Will you join me in this vision? Please pray for the children. Please pray for the children of heaven.
At last, finished the prints for the Children of Zion Village kids who were in the photography project. Spent 2 hours at the camera store working on one of those photo books as a “sample” to sell as a fundraiser… and hit the back button twice … and lost ALL of my work. I was so so unhappy.
I still have to purchase the small albums and then start the process of getting the albums delivered to the kids. The folks at the camera store were really complimentary of the kids’ pictures. I was very proud of “my” kids.
I’ll face that task another day or perhaps do something online. Need to build a storyboard first, I think.
Have finally started uploading my personal photos to flickr… this is slow going because the pictures are such a large format.
All my pics can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/irmgarde
Got a call today from the Ritz store where I will be printing the pictures. Plan one is to print snapshots for the kids so they have a record of their time with me. I will be sending them small albums much as I did the Zambian students. This step took so much longer as I have over 1000 pictures and I had to burn CDs of each student’s work because of the limitations at the camera store computer set up. Oh well, the CDs are ready and I’ll be working on prints on Friday!!!
I will also be working with my own pictures as well. Because of the success of my “virtual world” exhibit, I am now determined to have a “real life” exhibit of some kind. The cost will be high initially, but I am trusting God to work out the finances so I can print larger prints for display. I am also excited Bono, who visited the virtual exhibit and accepted my offer of a print. I hope it will remind him of me… but more importantly of the kids we’re rescuing at the Children of Zion and Village of Hope.
On Tuesday, February 12th, 6-7 pm (pacific time), the exhibit, Children of Heaven: Africa’s Children in Crisis will have it’s first opening in Rachelville on Imagination Island of Second Life, a virtual community on the Internet. 25 pictures are being displayed, both student works and my own photographs among them. I can feel in my heart that this is only the beginning. Some of the photographs are simiply wonderful and I know that they will have more life… more exhibits and hopefully, more funds and funding for both the Children of Zion and the Villages of Hope.
I am particulary grateful to Bill and Diana Sowers who have offered the space and the time to show the pictures in their “Rachelville” – a mutli-dimensional tribute to their daughter, Rachel, who died on May 17, 2000. In the months before her death, she envisioned a place called Rachelville and drew many pictures. It is these pictures that were the foundation for the Rachelville that now exists on Second Life. I am honored to be a part of this community that celebrates the lives of all children, whether here in the United States or as far away as Africa. Bill (also known as Rocky Vallejo in SL) said that the “look” of many of the children in our photographs reminded him of Rachel’s eyes near the end of her life… filled with a kind of wisdom and openness to life, despite the pain.
I am hoping to complete a display of about 25 of the kids’ pics from both Namibia and Zambia in Rachelville, a simulated environment in Second Life. This will be the first of what I hope will be several projects based on the pics that were taken. All of the kids’ pics have been posted to my FlickR account. Ritz camera has agreed to donate a few more cameras to replace the ones that were broken in Africa and they have given me a significant discount to print the pics … both to send back to the kids and to create fundraising prints of higher quality. This is a longer project as I have to do it on site at Ritz locally.
I did manage to pay with my own funds for the pics that the Zambian young adult pics… Those will be hand delivered in February. I printed them online and then purchased small albums for each person. Very cool. I hope to do something similar for the Namibian pics. More on this later.
Now, I must get to work on the Rachelville project.
We’ve been home three weeks… I confess… and what happened? First week back was Thanksgiving… back in America. How do you balance the truth of Africa with the excesses of America? So much food! Electricity at the touch of a finger. It’s all too much. And now, facing the Christmas craze. Lord, give me some clarity!
I did manage to get the pics from the Zambian youth on FlickR. They’re good. I really hope we get the funds we need to actually the print them and send a set back to Zambia. They deserve to have the prints… I know it will mean so much. I also want some of the pics printed on quality paper and framed to sell. Same with the Namibia pics… when I get to them.
I am slated to have a “gallery opening” of some of their pics in “Rachelville” in Second Life. That will be very exciting. More later.