09/16/10 — Arts Council calls for photos for exhibit

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Arts Council calls for photos for exhibit

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 16, 2010 1:46 PM

It started when an airman shared some photographs with his wife -- shots taken by one of his comrades during their shared tour in Gardez, Afghanistan.

He should have known his spouse would see something more than simple images -- that as director of the Arts Council of Wayne Council, Sarah Merritt also might find in them an opportunity.

"We sat down one night and started looking through them ... and we just started talking about it and I said, 'You know, this could be a really cool exhibit,'" Mrs. Merritt said.

And in a few months, those photographs will be the anchor of one.

Local military members from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and beyond are being asked to submit their photos of daily life in Afghanistan for display at the "A Country, A People" exhibit, set for January.

But the exhibit, designed to showcase native Afghans and military members serving in the country, will be about much more than the images, Mrs. Merritt said.

It will also be a venue for storytelling.

"When my husband got back, people were fascinated to hear about his experiences," she said. "It's such an extreme cultural difference that he just got barraged with questions."

Those who wish to take part in the showcase may submit photographs directly to the Arts Council -- Seymour Johnson airmen have been asked to get approval from the 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office before doing so.

Guidelines for submissions include:

* The photos must have been taken by the person submitting them.

* Submissions must be raw images saved as a jpeg on a CD.

* The CD must have the photographer's name, phone number, e-mail and address written on it.

* The name of the file for each photo must include the last name and title of work (i.e. merritt_KabulSunset.jpg)

* Photographers may submit up to 10 photos for exhibit consideration.

* Each CD should also include a word document with a paragraph about each photo being submitted explaining what the photo is or the reason it was taken. The paragraph should identify what photo it goes to (i.e. merritt_KabulSunset.jpg).

* Those Seymour Johnson airmen who wish to participate must turn in submissions to Senior Airman Makenzie Lang at the 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office no later than Oct. 15 to be cleared for release.