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The Art of Photography Show to Donate 100% of Proceeds from Art Sales to The AjA Project
Frank Herfort, "Holiday". Leipzig, Germany.
SAN DIEGO, CA.- The fifth annual Art of Photography Show, an international competition and exhibition of photographic art, announced today that they will be donating 100% of their portion of art sales revenue during the 2009 exhibition to an international charity based here in San Diego called The AjA Project.

The AjA Project runs a program called “Journey”, an after school participatory photography program for refugee youth.

“The Art of Photography Show exhibits some of the most beautiful photography I have seen, it is a privilege to be selected by them as a beneficiary of their proceeds,” said Sandra Ainslie, Executive Director of The AjA Project, San Diego. “I am grateful to them for showing how the art form is also an important catalyst for bringing about social and personal transformation.”

Journey operates in El Cajon and the City Heights area of San Diego, with young people who have been resettled here from Somalia, Sudan, Colombia, Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. By analyzing their surroundings through the lens of a camera, refugee youth are given the tools not only to express their experiences to a larger audience, but to process, reflect, and begin to understand their experiences of war, resettlement, immigration and to think critically about their cultural identities.

“I have been part of the AjA Project for some time now. I have seen much; I have grown and I can honestly say it is because I learned how to use a camera. I was a shy student, very low self-confidence. The AjA Project opened many doors for me with their classes and also being part of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC),” said Nick Beda (Sudan) a student of The AjA Project. “I have learned that if you don’t tell people who you are and where you come from they will think and tell you where they believe you fit. With my new found self-confidence I want to go as far as possible.”

The Art of Photography Show will debut on August 29, 2009 with the Opening Reception Gala and Awards Ceremony at Lyceum Theatre Gallery located in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. This free public reception will take place from 6 to 10 pm and is expected to attract over 1,500 people, including artists and collectors from around the world.

The Show was judged by Charlotte Cotton, the Curator and Head of the Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, who selected the top 111 images from 16,000 entries submitted by artists in 57 countries.

The fact that the Art of Photography Show is judged by a major museum curator each year is what differentiates the competition from other competitions. Photographers rarely have the opportunity to reach these respected and influential people, which is why the show receives so many entries from world-renowned professional photographers. Another amazing thing is that during these tough economic times, the number of entries increased by 31% from the previous year.

This world-class photography exhibit will run August 29 to November 1, 2009 and is expected to be viewed by over 25,000 people. An elegant 80-page show catalog will be given away to everyone at the Opening Reception Gala on August 29th. A total of $10,000 in cash awards will be presented that night to the top 15 artists chosen by Ms. Cotton.

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