(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

(adverb) in a manner that is nonchalantly absurd and embarrassing.

22 October 2013

Project Paz Raises $105,000 at the 4th Annual Project Art

Pictures for Paz
Last night Project Paz raised over $105,000 at their 4th annual Project Art. Curated by Anne Huntington, the silent auction included works from emerging and established contemporary artists influenced by the organization's mission. From photographs to paintings and more, Project Art and Pictures for Paz, curated by Phoebe and Annette Stephens, exhibited a dynamic show, lining the massive walls of 82 Mercer from end to end.

Monica Lozano
So many great pieces, to only discuss a few is unfair. Monica Lozano’s Mr. Luggage is part of the larger series Borders that explore the notions of struggle, survival and departure. The portraits tell the stories of several individuals' courageous journeys from one place to another, or their attempt, to begin a new life. Kat Kohl’s Light Volume V, is simply elegant and just the right amount of minimal, back lit by an LED light box. Other pieces of note were Maria Fernanda Jimenez’s Mexican Still Life, an illustration printed on leather, Amit Greenberg’s Thoughts Between Two Dots, ink on paper, Alvaro (Mosco) Alcocer’s Untitled, graphite on paper, and the photographs of Priscilla Falcon Moeller, specifically Release the hurt, release the fear, Lucia Oceguera, Andy Culp, and Anne Grauso.

Kat Kohl
Founded in 2010, Project Paz is a non-profit organization that fundraises to support programs that empower the Juarez community. Ciudad Juárez, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, is a vibrant, hard-working border community with important historical and economic ties to its sister city El Paso, Texas. Its strategic location as the border between Mexico and United States is attractive for the manufacturing industry, business centers and foreign investment. Unfortunately, Juarez has also attracted drug cartels and criminal organizations. While the city has been affected for decades, the wave of crime reached its highest in the city’s history in 2010 with over 3,500 murders. While crime and murder rates have gone down since 2011 (in 2012, the homicide rate was down 90 percent compared to two years prior), its negative repercussions are still prevalent in the community.

Priscilla Falcon Moeller
Funds raised from last night's event support Ampliando el Desarrollo de los Niños (ADN in Spanish for extending children’s development), a program by the Fundación del Empresariado Chihuahuense, A.C. (FECHAC), an independent, autonomous, non-partisan and non-profit organization formed by Chihuahua state entrepreneurs. ADN helps keep Juarez’s most unprivileged children off the street, offering them an opportunity to expand their cognitive and physical abilities rather than finding themselves in a vulnerable situation. When a child feels safe, they are able to learn. When a child lives in fear, their cognitive and emotional development are greatly affected. Last year, the $150,000 raised from Project Art gave 2,456 children a safe after school program with classes in art, reading, music, karate and soccer.

Andy Culp
New to Project Art this year was Pictures for Paz. Launched in the summer of 2013, with a curriculum written by artist Monica Lozano. Teaching the children the basics of photography with digital cameras, instructor Luis Arenas addressed topics such as composition and light, landscapes and portraiture, and how to develop a photographic narrative. The outcome––absolutely beautiful, one of the photos was one of my favorites amongst the show. Shadows of the kids, Community Center of Riveras del Bravo, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, August 2013 shows the bottom half of the children’s bodies, full shadows in perfect high sun, hands interlocked, the camera angle pleasingly disorienting.

Delicious eats were provided by Toloache Mexican Bistro, serving authentic Mexican bites that complemented drinks inspired by Maestro Dobel and Bohemia. A great night raising money for a great cause. Inspiring, to say the least.

To see all of the work featured in the silent auction, visit the Paddle8 page for Project Paz.

For more information: Project Paz.

Lucia Oceguera
Alvaro (Mosco) Alcocer
Maria Fernanda Jimenez
Amit Greenberg
Anne Grauso

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