The Faces to Remember at the World War II in the Philippines Conference

The Bataan Legacy Historical Society invited me out to the University of San Francisco to its fourth conference on World War II in the Philippines, Resistance, Retaliation, Reconciliation & Rescission, to share The Faces to Remember Project.

The conference featured a number of excellent panels, including ones about the implementation of the WWII in the Philippines lesson plans for Grade 11 in California, military and civilian resistance, war crimes and reconciliation. I also heard a series of deeply moving personal stories from descendants of war heroes, Medal of Freedom recipients, and survivors.

James Scott, author of Rampage: MacArthur, Yamashita & the Battle of Manila shared a horrific account of the battle and the Manila Massacre, which saw over 100,000 Filipino civilians -- men, women, and children -- killed.

It was also great to see the Filipino-American students who attended and volunteered at the conference because this is an important part of their history as Americans, and one that has been largely absent from the history they -- and all of us for that matter -- were taught in school.

I also had the honor of traveling to nearby Daly City to photograph David Tejada, a 95 year old Bataan Death March survivor.

This project continues to inspire me and I will never forget the time I get to spend with these heroes.

Thank you so much to Cecilia Gaerlan, Connie Hall McHugh, Bob McHugh, Rachel Van Cleave, Shelby Thompson, the Bataan Legacy Historical Society, and everyone who made the conference such a deeply moving and educational experience.

Agnes Lopez receives the 2018 Art Ventures Individual Artist Grant

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida just announced its 2018 Art Ventures grant recipients and I am extremely pleased to announce that I was one of the artists selected.

The Individual Artist Grants are designed to help artists in Northeast Florida reach the next level of their careers, and in my case it means that I can continue my work with The Faces to Remember Project and expand the scope of the exhibit to be even more inclusive and educational.

I would like to thank The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida for its support.

For more information about Art Ventures, visit the Community Foundation's website.

An incredible moment

Shortly before the (Re)Set the Table exhibit ended at The Yellow House Gallery, the Ganio family came to see the portrait of Patricio Ganio – including Mr. Ganio himself.

Four generations of the family were represented. Mr. Ganio’s great-grandchildren and I were able to hear stories about the Bataan Death March, his time in the POW camp, and his heroism. We also heard more about his decades-long fight for official recognition from the United States government for the Filipino soldiers who fought and died in the Pacific theater of World War II.

I approached Mr. Ganio and asked him in Tagalog, “Gusto mo ba ang litrato mo?” [Do you like your photo?]

He responded in English, “Yes, it is very nice.”

Filipino WW2 veteran and Purple Heart recipient Patricio Ganio looking at his portrait at The Yellow House Gallery

Filipino WW2 veteran and Purple Heart recipient Patricio Ganio standing next to his portrait

My goal with The Faces to Remember Project is to inspire viewers to learn more about the events in history that each person pictured endured and start a conversation about the people who are at risk of being forgotten.

That time with Mr. Ganio and his family was the most rewarding moment of my 15-year photography career to date. For him to see his portrait, presented in large format and hung in a gallery, was a significant experience for his family and for me as well.

Image

See The Faces to Remember Project in person until the end of March

The preview of The Faces to Remember Project is on display until the end of March at the Yellow House Gallery.

The project continues to grow and new portraits and more about each subject can be seen at the website: (www.thefacestoremember.com/portraits).

EXHIBIT DATES
Feb 17 – March 31

For hours, please check the website for the Yellow House Art Gallery: http://www.yellowhouseart.org/

The Faces to Remember Project at the Yellow House Art Gallery

OPENING RECEPTION
SATURDAY February 17, 6pm – 8pm

Portraits from The Faces to Remember Project will be on display as part of the (Re)Set the Table exhibition at the Yellow House Art Gallery, 577 King Street, just up the street from CoRK Arts District.

The reception is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

EXHIBIT DATES
Feb 17 – March 31