Totally Different Worlds at Gallery+

Portrait of a young refugee in Uttar Pradesh, India – Halim Ina

Portrait of a young refugee in Uttar Pradesh, India – Halim Ina

Halim Ina

Halim Ina was born in Managua, Nicaragua in 1968. After an earthquake when he was 5, his family moved to their ancestral home in Lebanon. Civil war there brought the family to the United States when he was 10. He has lived here ever since. After attending Case Western Reserve University where he earned his D.D.S., he established a dental clinic that he still operates. But, it was when he was advised to buy a camera to document his dental work that his love of photography was born.

Over the past 20 years, street portraiture has been his passion. Using a film camera, he walks the streets of remote villages on three continents documenting the people who cross his path. He has developed relationships with various foundations that benefit the subjects of his photography. For December and January, Gallery+ will be displaying portraits of girls from Uttar Pradesh, India. These girls live a rural life in a society that values boys over girls. They are only valued for their work at home and education is seen as unnecessary. They may attend a few years of elementary school and then marry soon after. Ina hopes that his photography can help change that.

A hundred percent of sales of his prints will go toward giving the girls he has photographed and all the children of their villages access to education. The money raised will benefit a local team in India working to establish a school for 150 children, and sewing centers in four villages. “It’s that simple, portraits turn into books, prints turn into classes,” says Ina. What better way to celebrate the holiday season than to support a selfless artist’s work to help children a world away that desperately need the help? To learn more about Halim Ina and his work, you can watch the TEDx Talk he gave entitled “How Photography Led to Schools for Girls” by searching “Halim Ina Ted Talk.”

American Splendor cover art – Gary Dumm

American Splendor cover art – Gary Dumm

Gary Dumm

Start the new year off by entering the comic/illustration world of Gary Dumm. Gary has been making comics and illustrations since long before he met Harvey Pekar and started working with him on his autobiographical comic book American Splendor over forty years ago. His artwork has appeared in local, national and international publications and shows from San Francisco and New York to Canada and Europe.

Drawing from real life, fantasy, blues and jazz players, black humor, pin-ups, monsters, a love of cats and both environmental and socio-political concerns, Gary has consistently pushed the boundaries of what comics might be while almost never depicting superheroes except satirically.

These days, when most folks seem to see things only in black and white, this artist is way ahead of the curve, working mainly in pen and ink, but still seeing the world in glorious shades of gray.