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Fotografia de la Esperanza (Photography of Hope)
What do politics, art and leukemia have in common???

From June 14th until July 31st, Benham Studio-Gallery is privileged to exhibit :

Fotografia de la Esperanza (Photography of Hope) :

Marita Holdaway, owner of Benham Gallery was invited to a photo festival in Houston called Fotofest. At this event she met gallery owners Maria Ines Sanders and Jim Sanders who represent an eclectic collection of Latin American photographers. Their work captivated Ms. Holdaway and soon a collaboration began. The Sicardi-Sanders Gallery has curated an exhibition to be held at Benham Gallery June 14th - July 31st. Titled Fotografia de la Esperanza, meaning photography of hope, this collection captures "the emotion and long tales of survival evident in the photographs which express not only hope but also the history, heritage and pride of Latin American culture", according to Holdaway.

Representative Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, a tireless advocate on behalf of Hispanic arts and heritage, has contributed greatly to the promotion of this important exhibit and in bring public recognition to the best Hispanic artists. "This show revels the spirit of eternal hope of the Latin American people and boldly captures the texture of our culture. I truly hope the public will see and appreciate the tremendous genius and effort behind this show" States Representative Gutierrez Kenney



The Max Foundation is dedicated to saving lives of leukemia patients by connecting bone marrow donors around the world through a retrieval system. Currently there is no way for a Latino leukemia patient to find donors in Latin America. Since this is an extremely prejudiced disease, the closer to your ethnicity, the better your chances of finding a matched donor. Although people have signed the donor registry it is not yet linked worldwide. So a person in Canada might die needlessly because of the inability to assess donor information in Guatemala. One goal for this exhibition and the diverse representation of Latin American artists is to raise awareness for the need of a complete global network for people with leukemia.



Two local galleries have joined forces with Benham to add ambiance and art to this very special exhibition. The Eyre/Moore gallery will represent the Guatemalan photographer Luis Gonzales Palma and the Tule Gallery will provide Latin American furniture to compliment the art work. A percentage of the sales will benefit the Max Foundation.


This unique show features an ensemble of contemporary Latin American artists renowned for their haunting, poetic, surreal images. Following, the names and origins of the artists; on the next page a brief description of each.


LUIS GONZALES PALMA - GUATEMALA
GERALDO DE BARROS - BRAZIL
MARIO CRAVO NETO - BRAZIL
EUSTAQUIO NEVES - BRAZIL
ANAMARIA McCARTHY - PERU
MARTA MARIA PEREZ BRAVO - CUBA

Luis Gonzalez Palma, (Guatemala, 1957 - )
Gonz½lez Palma is perhaps the most successful Latin American photographer today. The subject matter of his most well-known work is the indigenous and mestizo populations of his native Guatemala. An architect by training and married to a dancer, Gonz½les Palma very early on in his career found his calling in constructed and staged photography. Many of his works are collages, others are straight prints, while still others are assemblages of objects. Many of his images are portraits of indigenous men, women and children dressed up emblematically to incarnate a character of mythology and/or popular culture. Often, his black and white photographs are painted over in a sepia medium, leaving only the whites of the eyes of his sitters unpainted. This type of rendering produces an almost hypnotic effect in the viewer as he or she confronts Gonz½les Palma's characters.


Geraldo de Barros, (Brazil, 1932 - )
Geraldo de Barros accentuates his work with an avant-garde, innovative style that recalls to mind the serendipity of found objects reinvented in the darkroom. Instead of transcribing pure objectivity, his images seem to convey an aura of invisibility that urges the viewer to open a hidden dimension behind the faŁade.

Mario Cravo Neto, (Brazil, 1947 - )
Mario Cravo Neto is perhaps the most renowned Brazilian photographer. He studied photography and sculpture in Berlin and New York. Since the 1970's Cravo Neto has been doing staged black and white photography about the African culture of Bahia in his homeland of Brazil. His lighting brings out the sculptural qualities of his subject matter while his emphasis on texture renders it tactile. A strictly photographic trait of his work, absent in many of his imitators, is his intelligent use of depth of field. The precise conjunction of these formal and technical attributes contribute to make Cravo Neto's images of black human bodies, animals, and ritual objects powerful, enigmatic albeit idiosyncratic views of Afro-Brazilian religious culture.



Eustaquio Neves, (Brazil, 1955 - )
Eustaquio's photography is infused with the flavour of the indigenous African community of the Quilombos in Northeastern Brazil where he grew up. He has produced an installation of projected photographic images, poster size enlargements and reprographic panels around his interpretation of the first Black Republic of the Americas. The images synthesize a vibrant kaleidoscope of emotion, mysticism and spirituality.

Anamaria McCarthy, (Peru, 1955 - )
Born in New York, Anamaria has resided in Lima, Peru since 1973. In addition to photography, her studies include painting, silk-screen and ceramics. After gaining a considerable reputation for her ceramic sculptures, she now works exclusively in photography. Her images often portray the twin themes of life and death as coexisting in harmony. The past seems to flow seamlessly into the present which gives way to the future. Her style is highly intuitive and autobiographical with a raw vitality that echoes the everyday drama of living.



Marta Maria Perez Bravo, (Cuba, 1959- )
Marta Maria Perez Bravo, has been exhibiting her art since 1979. Her exhibitions have been in her home country of Cuba as well as Australia, New York, Germany and Spain. She is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. Pori Art Museum, Finland. National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba. Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany. Basta Gallery, Hamburg, Germany. Throckmorton Fine Art Gallery, New York, New York. Ramis Barquet Gallery, Monterrey, Mexico and various private collections.

There will be a private reception for the exhibition and the Max Foundation on June 18th from 5:00pm - 6:30pm. Pedro Rivarola, Chairman of The Max Foundation and John A. Hansen, chairman of the National Marrow Donor Program and president of the World Marrow Donor Association will be speaking. The reception will continue to the general public until 8:00pm.

The Max Foundation is an organization dedicated to improving the lives and survival rates of children stricken with leukemia. It was created by Pedro Jose Rivarola, an Argentinian resident of Seattle who lost his son, Max, to the disease.

Leukemia is the most common form of young cancer. It affects specifically children and even though there is a significant number of adult leukemia, it is today the number one killing disease of children in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, in 1999 28,700 new leukemia patients will be diagnosed and 21, 600 will die of the disease. Leukemia and other forms of cancer, considered incurable not long ago, are now possible to be treated and maybe cured if treated properly and timely. Bone Marrow transplant is one of the most common treatments for leukemia. Today, out of the 2.7 million donors registered in the National Marrow Donor Program, only eight percent belong to the Hispanic population. Since ethnic factors are crucial to increasing the possibility of finding a matched donor, this situation represents a problem of tragic proportions to the Hispanic people affected by the disease.

The three basic goals of the Max Foundation are:

1. Dissemination of the most complete database of all issues related to leukemia treatment.

2. Increase representation of minorities' genetic material into bone marrow registries worldwide.

3. Transfer of technology, equipment and supplies related to the treatment of leukemia from first world countries to third world countries.

The Max Foundation is currently launching a pilot program in the Greater Seattle Area to reach the Hispanic community through Catholic parishes and social events. The Puget Sound Blood Center and the Archdiocese of Seattle collaborate in this endeavour. There is also work being done with businesses of the local community, specifically with business leaders and restaurateurs, to increase education and awareness within the Hispanic community in the United States about bone marrow registration and donation.

The Max Foundation has been working with Health Ministries, specialists and community activists throughout Latin America to create a formal bone marrow registry. As a result of these efforts, the Latin American Bone Marrow and Cord Registry has been created. The emergence of this formal registry will not only benefit leukemia patients throughout Latin America, but it will also benefit patients in the United States, specially those of Hispanic descent.

Ms. Dorothy Thomas and Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, 1990 Nobel Prize of Medicine, are members of the Advisory Board of the Max Foundation. They work with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and are considered pioneers in the bone marrow transplant procedure.


 

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