Art Of Photography Show


Jennifer von Stauffenberg
Olive PR Solutions

The Art of Photography Show To Donate 100% of
Proceeds from Art Sales to The AjA Project

 The AjA Project is an after school participatory photography program
for refugee youth based here in San Diego

San Diego, Calif. (August 18, 2009) 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."

About The AjA Project:  The AjA Project is a nonprofit organization headquartered in San Diego that empowers recently resettled refugee and immigrant youth through the use of innovative photography-based educational programs. Each semester approximately 100 kids from Somalia, Sudan, Colombia, Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, and Iraq participate in the Journey program. The participatory photography method along with visual literacy and language acquisition lessons encourage youth to reflect upon and express their experiences of migration, and to think critically about their cultural identities for the purposes of fostering self sufficiency both in their individual lives and in their communities. In addition, The AjA Project annually installs large-scale public exhibits, which intersect the student's creative expression with the larger community and create dialogue around multi-cultural issues. These large-scale exhibits broaden the reach of the visual narratives produced and serve as a bridge between differing sectors of the community.
In the last several years, The AjA Project has gained national attention and visibility for cutting edge and socially relevant community based programming as well as public art. Most recently AjA received the prestigious Coming Up Taller award for excellence in youth programming, presided over by the National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities and the Presidents' Committee on the Arts and Humanities. AjA has held national scale exhibits with The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and National Geographic and has been featured by over 35 media outlets in four countries and on MTV Online. For more information about The AjA Project, please visit and

About The Art of Photography Show

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. An estimated 1,500 people from all over the world will be in attendance, including most of the exhibiting artists. A total of $10,000 in cash awards will be presented that night to the top 15 artists chosen by Ms. Cotton.

The mission is to provide a truly "artist oriented" show and to create a world-class presentation of photographic art in San Diego. This is the fifth year of this annual photographic exhibition. The Lyceum Theatre Gallery is open and free to the public seven days a week. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on the weekends. For more information about the exhibition, please visit

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