Harding University

August 31, 2012

Stevens Art Gallery to host preview for nationally published photojournalist

The University's Stevens Art Gallery opens Wednesday, Sept. 5 with a photo exhibit previewing the upcoming book “A Tourist of Saints: A Photo Graphic Journal of Haiti” by photojournalist Philip Holsinger.

The show comprises a collection of corresponding photos, sound recordings and excerpts from Holsinger’s personal travel journal that join to glimpse the secret lives of laymen in pre- and post-earthquake Haiti. Having spent six years on the island, Holsinger was able to form relationships with people beyond the lens of his camera. This is evident in the vulnerability the photos capture. His Caravaggio-like use of dramatic light and deep contrast allows the essence of emotion in the moment to creep out, telling stories of hardship and triumph, pain and perseverance.  

He said that his motivation for exploring the world through photojournalism is not to capture moments but to spend time with people of every culture and every class, sharing common humanity and the beauty of everyday life.

“All I know of places is what I have seen or heard, but a place is never as simple as it seems,” he said. “While bombs are dropping in Baghdad, people are still falling in love and arranging goods to sell in the market. People all over the world are dreaming of becoming a rock star or marrying the girl next door.”

He said this propels his search for truth and reality behind the caricatures of stereotypes by which people are hindered.

Holsinger has worked throughout the Americas, Eastern Europe and Asia. His photos have appeared in newspapers, galleries, wire services, books and magazines including National Geographic Online. While he has worked for a number of prestigious press organizations, the photojournalist now works primarily with Caractere Inc., his photojournalism cooperative, and as the founder of The Haiti Workshop for Foreign Field Service Training in Journalism.

Stevens Art Gallery is open for viewing Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hour viewing or guided tours are available by special request. The exhibit, “A Tourist of Saints: A Photo Graphic Journal of Haiti,” will be free and open to the public from Sept. 5 through Oct. 5.

While the gallery features 14 stories, the book expands as it follows Holsinger’s time in Haiti through 300 pages of his telling artwork alongside unedited journal excerpts giving unparalleled insight to the cultures and lives discovered in the fascinating journey of an international photographer.