Recently, The Alexia Foundation participated in the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, one of the world’s premiere celebrations of the medium. Spearheaded by Syracuse University’s Alexia Chair, Mike Davis, the foundation participated in a wide variety of the festival’s events. It was a tremendous chance to extend the reach of the work of our grant recipients, help education young photographers and connect to those interested in the issues and photojournalism about which we are so passionate.
It is our wish that you will be inspired, be emboldened and become an ‘Alexia Photographer’
The center of Alexia presence at LOOK3 was the featured exhibition, Alexia at 25, which celebrated 25 years of photography that drives change. Where The River Runs Through by Aaron Vincent Elkaim and Missing in Action: Homeless Women Veterans by Mary F. Calvert were on display. The exhibition was curated by Mike Davis. The Friday night reception was attended by an estimated 300 people.
“An ‘Alexia Photographer’ must have the melding together of different talents – a keen eye, an open mind, a commitment to our fellow man, a belief system that honors human dignity, and the fortitude to expose wrong and, most importantly, to use their work by being a present and active participant as a catalyst for change,” Founder Aphrodite Tsairis explained to the crowd at the reception.
“Those of you here who are up and coming photographers, it is our wish that you will be inspired, be emboldened and become an ‘Alexia Photographer,’ she urged the crowd.
The foundation was singled out for praise by LOOK3 emcee and National Geographic photographer Vince Musi during the Friday evening artist’s talks. The Alexia Film, A History of Photography that Drives Change, produced by Syracuse University Student, Jim Tuttle was screened to the crowd at the Paramount Theatre. Musi then introduced founders, Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis, who were met this thunderous applause. Upon hearing the introduction and seeing the short film, photographic leaders in the audience commented on what a significant impact the Alexia Foundation has had on the industry.
“That LOOK3 recognized The Alexia Foundation with a featured exhibition and presentation from the main stage was an honor,” said Mike Davis. “The Alexia grants create a family environment and LOOK3 creates community so the joining of both organizations was like a family reunion.”
In addition to being responsible for the exhibition, Davis was a central participant in LOOK3’s Education Days. He lectured to a rapt auditorium on how to successfully apply for a grant. He then participated in the festival’s portfolio reviews, providing vital feedback to eager, young photographers.
Finally, Mary F. Calvert, gave a moving Artist’s Talk on Friday morning of the festival about her long-term project, The Battle Within: Sexual Assault in America’s Military, of which her Alexia project Missing in Action: Homeless Women Veterans was a portion. She explained to the audience the widespread nature of these assault and the lasting effects they have on the victims, using her photographs to show the issue and discuss the individual circumstances of the women she photographed. Her presentation led to passionate discussion on the issue of sexual assault in the military by the LOOK3 audience through the rest of the day. (The talk will be discussed in further depth in a later post.)
The Alexia Foundation is proud to have had the chance to be a part of and help support the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, and excited to have witnessed so much the passion for the power of photography among the attendees.
Additional support for the exhibition was provided by Canson Infinity and Mark Reiman.