Two years ago, the Burns-Fazzi Brock Foundation contacted local photographer Kathleen Greeson asking if she would be willing to spend a week in Guatemala documenting the foundation's work.
The BFB Foundation, as it is more commonly known (named for founders Christine Burns-Fazzi and Rich Brock), is a North Carolina nonprofit that works to break the cycle of poverty in Guatemala by providing educational opportunities for girls and women. Their work is based on the belief that a woman's will to sustain her family can ultimately affect the rest of her community.
The foundation asked Greeson to capture images showing their mission, who they are helping and who they are sponsoring to attend school.
"It was almost two years to the day when I left — Nov. 10, 2017. I spent a week traveling around, and we followed two specific families. I documented where the girls live, where they go to school — just an overview of their lives," she describes.
If you go
* What: “Educate a Girl, Build a Dream”
* Where: Association for Visual Arts, 30 Frazier Ave
* When: 5-8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9
* Admission: Free, donations accepted for BFB Foundation
* For more information: 423-265-4282
"I also tried to document what their lives might be like if they weren't able to go to school: child laborers or staying at home caring for younger siblings."
Forty-one of her images from that trip will be shown in a one-night exhibit at the Association for Visual Arts on Saturday, Nov. 9. That exhibit, "Educate a Girl, Build a Dream," is a benefit to support BFB Foundation and the girls and women the foundation helps in Guatemala.
"I am going to be showing about 26 documentary pieces, and there will be 15 supporting pieces — just a general portrait of Guatemala and the places I saw," Greeson says, adding she will also bring 120 prints.
Her photographs show the warmth of the people she met, the depth of their relationships with their community and the hope that education brings to their lives. Other shots depict locales and landscapes along her route.
Admission to the exhibit is free; the art will be for sale. She will have images in color and black-and-white. The photographer stresses that 100% of the profits will be donated to the foundation.
Additionally, Chris Burns-Fazzi is expected to attend the benefit along with other foundation representatives. They will be accepting donations from guests.
Greeson says this benefit is the first showing of these photos, although more dates for similar shows are being considered as well as a possible show in Guatemala.