PhotoWest Gallery presents :
"IN NOMADS' LAND"
Give Me Shelter copyright © 2005 Laura Jean Zito
LAURA JEAN ZITO
Photo West Gallery
3625 Lancaster Ave.
Philadelphia, Pa. 19104
March 1- 30, 2005
Call: 215 879 4696
"Few subjects are older in Western photography than people from traditional cultures outside of, or marginal to, our own. In Laura Jean Zito's works, her subjects are entirely of our moment thanks to Zito's sensibilities and powers of observation (consider the emotions of her characters) and the senses of form and space."
Ben Lifson, from the catalogue of "Photography as Fine Art", Susquehanna Museum, Harrisburg, 2005
The artist writes about this selection of her work: "So often we project our own mentality onto others and assume they think or do as we expect them to, finding ourselves surprised when they don't. Cultural molding shapes behavior despite effort to resist its influence, as certain as that of a passing stream upon a riverbed. In these intimate portraits of the Bedouin, a people grown up individually, and as a tribe, in the stark and legendary Sinai Desert, I strive to engage the viewer's spirit in their daily life in a way that can change how we perceive all Middle Easterners. One will hardly view the unique personalities peering out from these frames without becoming profoundly aware of their feelings. Through their emotions and the symbolism inherent in the form and composition, a channel is opened for an exploration of mindsets perhaps foreign to one another, and perhaps not so different. The mental safari triggered by the various expressions attests to the power of art to communicate the intangible by reaching to an inner, communal consciousness."
Laura Jean Zito is a local lenswoman on a mission, to preserve all that she can, through her photographs and her gallery in Dahab, of the Sinai Bedouin's cultural heritage, intact since Biblical times until its recent disintegration under the heavy impact of tourism. Winner of the Woodmere Museum's Prize for Photography in this year's Annual Open Juried Exhibition, as well as that in their Annual Members' Exhibition two years ago, she has won many awards, such as the Purchase Prize in "Art of the State 2002" at the State Museum of Pennsylvania and the Grand Prize in the Nikon Photo Contest International.Recent Newspaper articles & review comments
"In Nomads' Land" provided me concrete evidence of my work's impact on the community via newspaper articles,(http://citypaper.net/articles/2005-03-17/artpicks2.shtml), reviews, http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/11223002.htm)" and attendees' testimonials, a permanent reminder of my work's effect on people's world outlook.