Photographers capture images from across America, Kenya

by April Helms | special products editor Published:

Fans of photographic art can find an intriguing pair of photographers' works on display at Studio 2091 in downtown Cuyahoga Falls.

The exhibits, Kenyan STARS (Sharing Truth About Reality) by Kent resident Shel Jane Greenberg, and Accidental Images by Newtown, Conn. resident Malcolm Tent, can be seen through Aug. 31. The exhibits opened Aug. 10 with a public reception, which included an acoustic set by Tent.

Greenberg's photographs are from her second and third trips to the Nyando district in western Kenya, where she volunteered with a medical teaching clinic along with her father, a retired surgeon, and Dr. Bonyo, a former Kenyan resident who now lives in Fairlawn and runs the teaching clinic.

"I don't have a medical background," she said. "I just had my camera."

Greenberg said that the people were eager to have their photos taken. She pointed to a photo of a man wearing a baseball cap who was at the clinic. Greenberg said that the residents there often wore their "Sunday Best" when they came to the clinic.

"He was just awesome, because he knew he looked good," she said.

Another photo Greenberg pointed out was one of some street boys, youths living on their own. Greenberg said that while there, she taught classes to the children in the area.

"I had wanted to go to school and teach classes, and I was working on my master's at the time," she said. "I asked the boys to write one story and draw a picture. Here, when you are teaching students, getting teens to do anything with speed frankly is a challenge. But there, they really wanted to learn. Dr. Bonyo had to steal shoes [as a child] just so he could go to school."

Greenberg said that the children and teens were forced to survive on their own because they were either orphaned by disease (AIDS, she said, is "a prevalent problem") or they were kicked out. They often came together to help one another, she said, including the boys she took a photograph of.

"There they were, in a big city called Kisumu, but they came together and formed their own family," Greenberg said. "They are all living on their own. One boy told me that he and his sister were chased out of their house by his stepmother, who chased them with a knife, because she didn't like them."

Bonyo, who attended the show with his wife, said he thought that Greenberg's photographs were "beautiful."

"They catch the real image of the life over there," he said. "Shel shows a really artistic way of thinking."

Partial proceeds from the sale of Greenberg's photographs will benefit Bonyo's Kenya Mission. For details on the mission, visit www.bonyoskenyamission.org.

Tent said his photographs were taken in many locations from Newtown to New York City.

"I travel a lot," he said. "I'm always on the road. I have my camera everywhere I go. I've easily put 200,000 miles on that camera in the past two years alone."

Partial proceeds from Tent's images will benefit the Newtown Connecticut Forest Association. For details on Tent, visit www.malcolmtent.net.

"What I really appreciate about these collections of photographs is that when you hear them talk about them, they are alive," said Amy Mothersbaugh Roos, who owns the studio. "They aren't just static vacation shots. You feel the connection."

Studio 2091 is at 2091 Front St. in Cuyahoga Falls. For details, call 330-962-4292 or visit www.studio2091.com online.

Email: ahelms@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9438

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