When I was 10 years old, I had the unusual experience of walking down Market Street in San Francisco with my art teacher, Barbara Marino. As I looked out at the big city with it’s sea of cars and people, my teacher leaned over me and said “ There is beauty in each of these faces. They are amazing and wonderful in their uniqueness; in each wrinkle stemming from that man’s eyes, or the freckled skin of that boy, the old lady stooped over as she walks. I want you look hard, I want you to find the beauty in those differences…”
The first time I came to the Miami International Airport I fell in love. I stood in awe of the surrounding population. It was a diverse cross-section of people representing a myriad of origins and destinations. I could hear different languages, tones of voices, and conversations. I saw different skin colors, body shapes, fashion statements and cultural expressions. Each of these distinctions had a story behind it; a thread that would lead me to their world. In that moment I conceived this idea.
Vision for the Project
At the Miami International Airport I will be using photographic portraiture to celebrate the value of cultural diversity. of the population that moves through this complex crossroads of North and South, East and West. I look forward to working with a wide range of participants all ages and ethnic backgrounds, collecting a myriad of stories within each portrait.
With the initial large-scale exhibition of these portraits at the location where they were made, we will be acknowledging that the people that move through the Miami Airport are unique and important within their vast differences. Each person has particular cultural facets, perhaps an indicator of where they came from or where they are going and it is worth taking notice. For the viewers that recognize a part of themselves within the portraits, there is the additional opportunity for cultural pride to be cultivated.
The exhibition will also enliven the passerby’s current experience of being at the Miami International Airport. As they become curious about the cultural diversity that surrounds them there is a chance for new found perspectives to be formed and a sense of global community to be felt.
Continuing Life of the Exhibition after the Miami Airport
The exciting thing about this exhibit is that as it lives on being shown in additional venues it will inspire new questions, new responses, and reinforce the idea of a global community. Imagine the variety of reactions that will come from these portraits, depending on if they are shown in a small town, large metropolis or internationally. The viewers may have the comfort of recognizing a familiar community or they may awaken to the possibility of a world full of people they might not have imagined. With each showing the portraits will have a chance to tell their stories, broadening perspectives and cultural horizons.
Non-Profit Fiscal Sponsor
Six Seconds is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing emotional intelligence into practice in schools, families, organizations, and communities. Our mission is to support people to make a positive difference - everywhere - all the time. Six Seconds teaches emotional intelligence (or “EQ”) skills to equip change makers with tools and wisdom so future generations thrive. Please see the attached letter of support for tax identification number.