Benjamin Rusnak’s Dreams and Tempests Opening Reception at the ACND Gallery of Art 2/25/11

Benjamin Rusnak’s “Dreams and Tempests” for a limited engagement in Miami.
NEW DATE: Opening Reception
Friday, Feburary 25, 7:00 p.m.
ACND Gallery of Art at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School
4949 NE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL, 33137

Helping The Poor Serves As A Life Theme and Commitment for Artist and Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Students
Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School Students’ 15th Annual HungerFest Helps Miami’s Less Fortunate.
Exhibit Continues Through March 19, 2011

Benjamin Rusnak’s “Dreams and Tempests” opens Friday, February 25, 2011. Rusnak is a professional photographer and ‘artful poet’ who primarily captures life in Latin American and the Caribbean. This mini exhibit will be made up of 9 5’x5′ black and white images. His work has recently been on display at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., KONA Gallery, CA, and George Mason University, VA and he has spoken about his work to people of all ages including engagements at the University of Florida and University of Central Florida.

Benjamin Rusnak is a humanitarian photojournalist who uses the foundations of solid journalistic story-telling to fundraise for the poor. Since 2000, Rusnak has documented poverty in the Caribbean and Latin America for Food For the Poor, Inc., an international relief and development agency. Prior to that, he was a newspaper photojournalist for nearly 10 years, having worked for Agence France-Press, the Indianapolis Star, the Fort Myers News-Press and the Ann Arbor News. His work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year International, the Best of Photojournalism, the Gordon Parks photography competition, the New York Photo Awards, the International Photography Awards, Photo District News, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the Alexia Foundation, and the China International Press Photo Contest.

Rusnak comments about his work: “Working in the tropics, I have often been struck by the irony of people struggling to survive in what should be an idyllic setting. The poor search daily for adequate food, shelter and water under the same sun and palms where vacationers play. And despite their hardships, the poor still have the hope and faith to dream of living in the paradise that surrounds them.”

Rusnak’s exhibit will serve as a visual backdrop and conversation opener for Archbishop Curley Notre Dame’s annual 15th Annual HungerFest to be held on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, 2011.

Organized by the school’s Edmund Rice Service community, HungerFest is a yearly event that raises consciousness of poverty and world hunger through Lenten practices of prayer and almsgiving. ACND students will be spending two days raising funds and bagging lunches with products donated by the student body of ACND as well as neighboring parochial elementary schools.

Through the event’s fundraiser, students will wash cars for a nominal donation and also collect money pledges from parents and neighbors throughout the community and local grammar schools. The monies raised through the Hungerfest are to be donated directly to earthquake relief efforts at ACND’s sister school, Abrigot, St. Louis du Nord in the Diocese of Port De Paix, Haiti.

To show solidarity for the poor, the Hunger Fest participants refrain from food and drink, except for water, from Friday afternoon until Saturday evening. During this time, the volunteers also pack the sandwich lunches and make prayer cards for the residents of Miami’s Camillus House, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian services to men, women and children, and the Miami Rescue Mission.

Last year’s HungerFest event raised $4,200 for Haiti earthquake relief and produced a record setting 2,856 bagged lunches for the homeless in the South Florida community.
Fluid Motion –
Children play and bathe in a river near Georgetown, Guyana. In a country where 90 percent of the population lives within several miles of the coast, much of life revolves around water. Children, whether rich or poor, find comfort and joy in water.
Breathlessly Alone –
A young girl sits tethered to an oxygen tank, alone in a Honduran hospital. Opportunistic infections that lead to respiratory problems are common among children with poor diets or chronic malnutrition.
Photos by Benjamin Rusnak