A Beacon art gallery fights to keep it's doors open

Author: Kelly Kingman
Posted: Thursday, September 02, 2010

While their enthusiasm and idealism has fueled Fovea through its first three years, it has been a bumpy road as founder's Stephanie Heimann and Sabine Meyer  learned how to run a non-profit from the ground up. Talented interns and community volunteers were critical. “We simply would not have existed without all the selfless help and support we received from our volunteer staff,” says Heimann.


    Fovea’s unique mission and content make it the only organization of it’s kind in the country and a popular destination for visitors from the city and around the Hudson Valley. But many people assume the gallery is a commercial space, and don’t realize Fovea depends almost exclusively on small grants and individual gifts. “It’s a gallery but mainly we’re an educational charity. People think it’s a beautiful place to take in the work but don't understand that we still need their support or that the work is for sale,” says Meyer.


    Heimann and Meyer are hoping to secure the final details of a lecture series that will bring war photographers face to face with freshman cadets at West Point. The pair believes photojournalists represent a unique resource to the cadets because of their first hand experience, especially with non-professional or irregular armies like the Taliban.


    Heimann and Meyer continue to hope that the importance of the work they show will bring in much-needed support to make it to their fourth year. “We are embracing hardcore photojournalism and put people to the task to look at really difficult photographs,” says Meyer, who recalls how images from This is Our War moved men to tears. The show included photographs from Todd Heisler’s Pulitzer-winning body of work, Final Salute, which documents scenes from the work of Major Steve Beck, whose job it was to notify families of Marines upon their death. The impact on people is palpable, says Heimann. “I meet people now who walked in the gallery casually at one point and they can describe to me an image they saw,” she says. “The still photograph continues to have the power to tell a story in a way that television doesn’t.”


Fovea Exhibitions

143 Main St., Beacon

Intended Consequences: Rwandan Children Born of Rape has been extended through September 15.

Kelly Kingman lives in Beacon and writes about food and other topics. Her latest project is stickyebooks.com.

How has this gallery touched visitors?


Categories: Feature Stories

Tags: Fovea,art galleries,non profit

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