Photographer brings "Dear World" project to Loyola
Dear Loyola, get ready for your close-up.
Photographer Robert X. Fogarty and his photography project, "Dear World," will be on Loyola's campus from March 20 to 22 as part of the Centennial celebration.
"Dear World" produces and displays powerful photographs of individuals with a special message written on their bodies. The idea of the project is that a single person, no matter what background, can influence and inspire many.
The event, which will cost an estimated $10,000, is being sponsored by the University Programming Board and the Student Government Association.
David Garcia, UPB president, says that "Dear World" will be a special opportunity for Loyola.
"This program gives students the chance to share their message of hope with the Loyola community, New Orleans and the world through the medium of photography and the Internet," he said.
Fogarty will hold an open shoot for two days in the Danna Center. Any Loyola community member may participate alone or as a group, and Garcia encourages student organizations to take a united photograph to share a message. Afterward, Fogarty will give a keynote presentation and display the photographs along with a few personal anecdotes of students explaining their chosen message.
"I've always thought that ‘Dear World' is up to interpretation. Your world may be your dad or your little brother. It doesn't necessarily have to be this huge message to the planet. Sometimes only one or two people in the world know what the message means," Fogarty said.
Fogarty, a former Americorps member who also co-founded Evacuteer.org, which trains volunteers to aid in evacuations, first founded "Dear New Orleans" for others to share their appreciation for the Crescent City after the Saints' Super Bowl win in 2010. He later extended his idea to "Dear World."
"Dear World" has gained a lot of attention. The photographs are viewed over two millions times a month, and Fogarty has photographed a variety of people: Celebrities such as Susan Sarandon and athletes such as Reggie Bush and Drew Brees as well as regular citizens are willing to share their faces and hearts with the world. Loyola will be the sixth university to participate in "Dear World," following Georgetown, Tulane, Stanford, Harvard and Scranton universities.
He said that the universities are especially important to him because, "College kids have big dreams, right? I hope that Loyola students will be New Orleans' next doctors and evangelists."
Fogarty said he believes the most important aspect of his project is that the subjects must take a moment to look inward to find a message.
"More than anything, it's healthy for us all to reflect on why we do what we do. I think that ‘Dear World' is an interesting outlet for that. People have a moment to think ‘What matters to me?'" he said.
Jennie Gutierrez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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