April 2 - 27, 2012
Library - Main Gallery
The Communication/Journalism Department, in collaboration with the Lehman Library, the Modern Language Department and the Women’s and Gender Studies Minor present Haiti – A Nation’s Persistence, an exhibition of photographs by photojournalist Keely Kernan. The exhibition will take place in the Lehman Library’s Main Gallery on the Shippensburg University campus from April 2 – 27. An artist reception will be held from 5:30-6:30 on Monday, April 9 in the library followed by a talk by the artist at 7:30 in Old Main Chapel. All events are free and open to the public.
Keely Kernan is an award winning freelance photographer. She has published and exhibited work internationally and nationally. Her documentary work has taken her to Haiti on several occasions over a three-year period. Her images easily transport the viewer to that troubled island nation and inspire a sense of responsibility to become involved with Haitian people as they eagerly work to rebuild their home. In addition to Haiti, Ms. Kernan has traveled to Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, and South Korea. Her work embodies a sensitivity toward her subjects that encourages viewers to become acquainted with both the individuals depicted and the culture at large.
Documentary photographer Keely Kernan has also created multimedia projects of individuals at work rebuilding Haiti following the devastating earthquake. She works with both adult and young artists who are hoping to develop a center for creative arts. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of devastation, this center will symbolize the promise of hope.
“Haiti is a place of extremes. It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere, and it is a place where people struggle to survive. But it is also a place where the human spirit is deeply felt and life is celebrated," says photographer Keely Kernan. In addition to documenting life in Haiti through her photographs, Ms. Kernan has also worked alongside various NGOs assisting with public health projects such as building well platforms to mitigate water contamination and running educational programs with children living in tent camps in Leogane, the epicenter of the earthquake.
Ms. Kernan became involved in supporting the art community in Haiti after meeting a group of Haitian artists in Jacmel. Because Ms. Kernan is herself an artist, with concentrations in painting and photography, she deeply respects the work of the artists there. She has worked alongside an art collective group called KOLAJ doing art therapy projects with children in Jacmel and organizing art exhibitions with the artists.
Haiti, A Nation’s Persistence, is sponsored in large measure by a Human Understanding grant from the Office of Social Equity as well as the four departments collaborating on the project.