The panAFRICA project
March 13 – April 16, 2017
Gallery at the School of Design
Mount Ida College, Newton, MA
Lou Jones’ decade-long journey to discover the real Africa will change the way you think. Jones will sit down with Barry Gaither, Adjunct Curator for African American Art at the MFA to tell tales of his journeys, with stories as powerful as his photos. Jim Fitts, co-curator of the show will moderate the discussion.
About the Show:
The panAFRICAproject exhibition presents a vision of Africa that you will rarely, if ever, encounter. It is the result of world-renowned photographer Lou Jones’ ten year journey photographing Africa from his uniquely personal perspective.
The exhibition, featuring over 100 full-color, larger-than-life images, showcases Jones’ photographic campaign to create a contemporary, visual portrait of modern Africa. By enlisting input from local leaders, knowledgeable natives, and the working citizenry, Jones has sought out the characteristics that make each country, region, community, and tribe unique.
“The spectacular and moving photographs allow visitors to engage in a dialogue that will challenge current notions of contemporary Africa’s socio-economic culture and economy,” says Alison Poor-Donahue, co-curator of the show and Chair of Mount Ida’s Design & Digital Media department.
“The panAFRICAproject will establish a repository of images that represents each of 54 individual countries devoid of the preconceived, western notions of distress: conflict, pestilence and poverty, i.e. violence tourism” says Jones. “We are accurately documenting the highlights and inner workings of the most progressive twenty-first century continent.”
“This is an incredible body of work,” says Jim Fitts, co-curator and Assistant Professor. “Each of Jones’ images is stunning in its own right, but the juxtapositions of the Masai warriors and outdoor markets against the gleam of the most modern infrastructure belies what we have been shown to be the ‘real Africa’.”
About Lou Jones
Lou Jones’ eclectic career has evolved from commercial to the personal. It has spanned every format, film type, artistic movement and technological change. He maintains a studio in Boston, Massachusetts and has photographed for Fortune 500 corporations, international companies and local small businesses including Federal Express, Nike and the Barr Foundation; completed assignments for magazines and publishers all over the world such as Time/Life, National Geographic and Paris Match; initiated long term projects on the civil wars in Central America, death row, Olympics Games and pregnancy; and published multiple books.
For his photography, Jones has been awarded many accolades from organizations like Communication Arts Magazine, Art Directors Club of Boston, Travel Photographer of the Year and International Photographic Council (United Nations). Nikon recognizes Jones as a “Legend Behind the Lens” and Lowepro has honored him as a “Champion”.
Jones has exhibited his eclectic imagery in colleges and schools such as Trinity College, Texas Tech University and New England College, and in collections at the Smithsonian Institution, DeCordova Museum and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. His photography is owned by various collections including the Fogg Museum, Wellesley College and the University of Texas.
In addition, Jones lectures and teaches workshops all over the world, including at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York City, the Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University, New England Camera Club Council’s annual conference, and Estúdio Brazil in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The first book Jones published, Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row, earned Jones the Ehrmann Award from Massachusetts Citizens against the Death Penalty. Since then, he has published numerous other books including Travel+Photography: Off the Charts and Speedlights and Speedlites: Creative Flash Photography at Lightspeed.