It hardly seems like it, but two years have gone by since I first wrote about a random walk that led me to a story about FotoFest International. This year the biennial event runs March 10 – April 22 and is absolutely vast in scope, education and exhibition space.
The focus of the FotoFest 2018 Biennial is India, a nation of more than 1.3 billion people and the world’s largest democracy. The exhibition features 47 leading or emerging photographic and new media artists of Indian origin, working both in India and globally.
Every part of Houston is covered as well with literally hundreds of photographers. In the Heights, there are seven venues that include the Art Car Museum, Bill’s Junk, Gspot Contemporary Art Space, The Heights Theater, The Vineyard Church of Houston, THINGZ Gallery and, of course, A 2nd Cup.
When I arrived at A 2nd Cup – located at 1111 E. 11th St. – two years ago to mull over my story ideas with my favorite breakfast sandwich and coffee, I unknowingly walked right into an exhibit of photos by local artist Eric Hartley.
This year, Hartley juried the show and three photographers were chosen to participate: Rusy Singh, Elizabeth Cook and Nicholas Papas. The show is titled “Brighter Through the Flames”. Hartley sent me a description of the show.
“The photography exhibit sheds light on human trafficking and helping to support survivors,” the description reads. “While not everyone can relate directly to the trauma and challenges of surviving human trafficking, most of us can relate on some level to overcoming adversity and trauma while emerging stronger on the other side. This exhibit is the photographer’s interpretation of how we are Brighter Through the Flames. A portion of all art sales at A 2nd Cup will benefit their new Culinary Aftercare Program for Human Trafficking Survivors.”
A 2nd Cup’s mission is fighting human trafficking and if you hadn’t guessed, it is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit coffee shop. Very cool.
You can view the photography daily 7 a.m. – 10 p.m and Sundays till 5 p.m. A dual public reception with the artists will be held 6 – 8 p.m. on March 24, and across the street at The Houston Vineyard – located at 1035 East 11th St. – their show is titled A Closer Look. Find them on Facebook and www.a2ndcup.com.
As an international platform for serious photographic arts exhibitions, the FotoFest Biennial has become known as a showcase for the discovery and presentation of important new work and new talent from around the world. The Biennial takes place citywide in Houston with participation from the leading art museums, art galleries, non-profit art spaces, universities and civic spaces. The Biennial has an audience of 275,000 people from 34 countries. This audience includes a select group of 150 museum curators, gallerists, publishers, editors, photography collectors, directors of non-profit art spaces and international festivals from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada and the United States. Find more information online at www.fotofest2018.art.
Addition for web: Affaire d’art Art Gallery of Galveston is hosting photographers Kristy Allmon (of the Heights) and Alicia Boles, both regulars at First Saturday Arts Market, for a reception in collaboration with FotoFest’s Biennial event Friday, March 16, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. The collaborative collection is titled “Galveston – A Different View.” More details online.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com.