Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back By Popular Demand!!!

The exhibit currently up at 130 King Street in St. Augustine, FL is carrying over into September. We will be having another First Friday opening from 5-9pm this Friday, September 3rd. If you didn't make it to the last show, you have another chance! There will be new merchandise for sale and this time around, all proceeds are going to a fund to help rebuild the homes and lives of the families in Shey village, Ladakh, India where recent flash floods have devastated the area. This is the same area in which the school (Druk Padma Karpo Institute) resides, where Follow Your Art instituted the photo-literacy program from August '09-May '10. The residential students were all moved to safety during the floods, but the bussed-in children, whose families live in the area, have all been greatly affected, losing homes, farmland, farm animals, and even some family members. The children and their families depend heavily on crops cultivated and harvested throughout the summer and fall for winter food rations, as the main (and only) road to Kashmir and further on to Delhi is closed through the winter due to avalanche and snow conditions. With the fields flooded and now under several feet of mud, you can understand the distress this causes the people.

This is a fundraising exhibition to help those families. The school suffered a lot of damage from the flooding as well, but there is already a relief fund in place for the rebuilding of the school. If you want to donate to that cause, follow the link:
Please come and show your support for these children! Thank you.

Julayne Farmer
Follow Your Art Program Founder and Director

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Flash Flooding Affects Druk Padma Karpo Institute in Shey, Ladakh, India

I learned, this morning, that Ladakh has recently suffered from dangerous flash flooding. There are over 115 found dead and more than 500 persons thought missing. The residential children at the school (who I was working most closely with) were evacuated to the nearby Shey Palace (the Buddhist monastery) high on a mountain peak in the village. From what I have heard from school founders in England, the residential children have been able to return to the housing at the school. Not much is known about the day children and their families which are sprinkled throughout the region of Ladakh. All phone lines have been down. I am posting a link to the school's website where you can donate to the relief efforts if you choose.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

St. Augustine Gallery Opening

"Follow Your Art: Project Ladakh" Show Opening: Friday, August 6th, from 5-9pm at 130 King Fine Arts and World Treasures, 130 King Street, St. Augustine, FL! Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

More Exposure (pun intended)!

Follow Your Art's adventure in India rages on!!! The show previously installed at the ArtHaus in Port Orange, FL. is now moving to a gallery in St. Augustine, FL. The show will open on Friday, August 6th, at 130 King Fine Arts and World Treasures, 130 King Street, St. Augustine, FL and is expected to run through the month of August. There will be upwards of 40 16"x20" prints made by the students, a short film of the photographers in action, and a few of the "Day in my Life" books, made by the students, on display. All prints will be for sale with the proceeds going back to those who created the images: 50% going to the Druk White Lotus School Art program and its students, and the other 50% going back to help further Follow Your Art's mission to teach literacy through photography.

Hope to see you there!

Julayne Farmer
Follow Your Art Founder and Director

Monday, July 12, 2010

ArtHaus Gallery Exhibit

There is currently an exhibit up showcasing the children's work from India. The show is located at:
The ArtHaus
3840 Ridgewood Avenue
Port Orange, Florida 32119
One block north of the Dunlawton Bridge on US1

If you're in the area, please stop by to view the work. The gallery is open Mon-Fri. 9-5pm

The Follow Your Art show will be up at this location through July 30th.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Alphabet Soup

Everyday is a learning experience. My work at Druk White Lotus/Druk Padma Karpo has become more intense and I'm loving it more than ever. On November 1st I will begin teaching English to the teaching and non-teaching staff. The English classes will continue through the 3 month winter break of the school year. I am glad to have something to do to fill the time and hopeful that I will, in the process of teaching Ladakhi men and women English, have the opportunity to improve my Ladakhi.

The most recent photographic work finished with the children has been the 'Alphabet Soup' project. In this project, the children divided the English alphabet up into three sections, choosing words from three languages in which they are fluent (English, Hindi, and Ladakhi) to represent each letter of the alphabet. After choosing the words, they went outside (or inside, as the condition called for by their chosen word) and created photographs of these objects. It was a very time consuming project for the kids, taking over a month of photo sessions to complete, but it was extremely successful - the most successful to date, I believe.

I can't express how much I'm learning by working with these students. They have all become teachers for me on how to be a better and more efficient teacher. I wouldn't trade this experience or my time here for anything. The winter has set in and it's getting very cold here. The pipes are freezing. There is little water to be had. And still, these children get ahold of the cameras and run outside faster than I can keep up with them. They are hearty fellows and full of heart. I can't wait to post the next project.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gandhi-ji Project

Everyday, these children are rewriting my ideas of photography, of learning, of teaching, of living. I have been spending much of my time with the students at Druk Padma Karpo school and feel privileged. I have decided that splitting my time between two schools is not fair to the students, or to me, for that matter. It is because of this that I will be dedicating all my time, efforts, and program funding toward the children at Druk Padma Karpo/Druk White Lotus. These children have worked their way into my heart and I feel an honest connection with them. They have, collectively, in the last two months I've been working with them, taken over 5,000 images (most of which have been extremely captivating). 

The most recent project was one conducted with the 6th grade class. As Gandhi's birthday is approaching (October 2nd), we decided to create a project around his ideals. I randomly pulled about 20 quotes off the internet (a referenced site) and put each of the quotes into a hat. The students got into groups of three and chose one quote from the hat. They read the quote and then I spoke with each group about what they thought their quote might mean. After discussing this at length, the students went outside with one camera, per each group of three, and began making images that represented, in some way, their interpretation of the Gandhi quote that they had chosen. The results were, as always, breathtakingly beautiful. 

The group belonging to the image shown above was given the quote: "To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse then starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body."