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CHILDREN OF SOUTH AFRICA - FAIRFAX CAMPUS EXHIBIT FEB 8

January 23, 2006
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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NEW EXHIBIT ON GEORGE MASON’S FAIRFAX CAMPUS
CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF
THE CHILDREN OF SOUTH AFRICA
February 8 – March 22, 2006
Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 8, 2006, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Mason Hall Atrium Gallery


Fairfax, Virginia, January 19, 2006—As South Africa struggles to free itself from centuries of racial discrimination, is it really a land crumbling under the pandemic of AIDS, plagued by crime, guns, drugs? This was the question facing a group of visitors on a Fulbright-Hays program, who documented their journey in The Children of South Africa: The Way Forward, opening February 8 in the Mason Hall Atrium Gallery on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University.

Harold Linton, currently chair of Mason’s Art and Visual Technology Department, organized the exhibition of 30 photographs chronicling the Fulbright group’s visit to the schools and shantytowns of Durban and its environs while chair of the Art Department at Bradley University in Illinois. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has written the catalog’s foreword, underscoring the importance of the exhibit’s humanitarian message.

With unabashed clarity and unapologetic honesty, the photographs illustrate the daily lives of children – 50% of whom had parents who were deceased or dying of AIDS – at school, at play, at home; illustrating for the world their optimism and struggle out of a vicious cycle. The visit was eye opening and life changing says Linton, who explains that seeing these lives up close, “helps us become citizens of the world with as much passion for people as for art,” and, he continues, “…we do have the resources and ability to change this.”

Linton has announced that sales of the show’s catalog ($15.00) and prints will fund donations to Plan USA, a children’s charity at work in 46 developing countries around the world.
This is a traveling exhibit, currently under consideration for future stops at the Washington Library in Chicago and the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC.

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Images are available to use in covering this exhibit, please contact the publicity office, 703-993-8794.

The Galleries are all located on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The Johnson Center Gallery is located on the main level of the George W. Johnson Center in the heart of the campus. The Fine Arts Gallery is located on the ground floor of the Fine Arts Building in room B104. The Mason Hall Gallery is on the ground floor of Mason Hall on Mason Pond Drive. Galleries are open Mon. through Thurs., from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless otherwise noted, and by appointment. The Concert Hall Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gallery Program is a division of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, home to the Center for the Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.