Meadows Museum exhibition reveals environmental threat in Haiti

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Meadows Museum of Art hosts the exhibition Cutting Down the Tree of Life through April 30. This two-part display, conceived by alumna Emily Fultz, contrasts vibrant Haitian "Tree of Life" paintings from the 1970s and 1980s with contemporary photographs of Haiti's deforestation for charcoal fuel production, captured by New York City photojournalist Jonathan Auch.

The Haitian paintings featured are from the Meadows' permanent collection, donated by Dr. and Mrs. Henry K. Miller in 1996. The Millers collected art directly from Haitian artists during more than forty years of service trips to Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, Haiti, where Dr. Miller volunteered annually. Among the expressive works displayed are paintings by Guy Joseph, Gabriel Coutard, Louis Rosemont, and others.

Juxtaposed with the paintings is the photographic series "Wasteland: Charcoal in Haiti" by Jonathan Auch (jonathanauch.com). Black and white photos of the people and lands of Haiti serve as a poignant reminder of Haiti's current deforestation crisis, and the charcoal market is exposed as the main contributor to this problem. Auch, who has worked with war photographer James Nachtwey and Magnum Photographer Bruce Gilden, is known for his distinctive, gritty street photographs and his straightforward portraits reminiscent of formal mugshots. He will be on Centenary's campus to work with students and the public. His residency and exhibition are generously underwritten by the Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture Program.

Free Events with Jonathan Auch
• "The Five Second Portrait" Workshop. Monday, March 7, 6-7 p.m.:
Every face tells a story, but capturing those stories is an art. Auch will discuss the intricacies of shooting portraits on the street. Topics will include how to recognize a good subject, how to approach people and obtain their permission, and how to take a successful photo quickly in an uncontrolled environment.

• Gallery Talk, Tuesday, March 8, 6-7 p.m.:
Auch will discuss his experiences photographing Haiti, from capturing its deforestation, its beauty and desperation on the streets of Port-au-Prince, to immortalizing the death and destruction of the 2010 earthquake.

About the Meadows Museum of Art
The Meadows Museum of Art is located on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana at 2911 Centenary Boulevard in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Museum is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. For more information or to schedule field trips, call the Museum at 318.869.5040, or visit the Meadows site.