Photographer Cowboys Up For Kids In Haiti
Like most photographers, Frank Lozano has a varied portfolio of subjects - scenics, head shots, action, you name it. Some of the most precious in his collection are those he has on display currently at Out West in Old Town Newhall - a collection of shots from the Three Angels Children's Relief in Haiti and the surrounding areas.
Lozano is hoping to raise some money for the orphanage, which suffered significant damage in the January 12 earthquake and will donate the proceeds of any sales of Haiti photographs during this week's Third Thursday Art Walk.
In addition, OutWest is donating a portion of this week's sales to Three Angels.
"I've been very blessed to have been to Haiti three times, been to all these cool places and taken pictures, so I put them up on Facebook for my friends to enjoy," he said. "It was the encouragement from my friends, that made me really go into this."
One particular friend, who lived in Texas, used to call him weekly with a new subject challenge. One week it was "shoot things that are red," another was "motion." One week, it was "cowboys and their stuff," which Lozano felt was kind of unfair because "they were in San Antonio where there would be all sorts of that kind of stuff" - until he visited Hart Park.
"I spent two hours there and came away with 250 pictures, so I called Bobbi (from OutWest, who he met during the Fine Art Festival in October) and asked her how I could get my stuff into the museum."
Bell's response was to invite him to be her featured artist on Third Thursdays for the first three months of 2010. And when the earthquake hit Haiti - and the subject of some of his photographs - he knew this month's gallery should be not just artistic, but helpful.
"I'm so grateful that people are finally being able to appreciate and see art that's only been for friends and families in the past," Lozano said.
Along with being a still photographer, Lozano is also a documentary filmmaker and had gone to Haiti to help Three Angels Children's Relief make a video for their fundraising efforts. The orphanage also serves as a school and medical clinic for the community and was somehow spared as multi-story buildings around it collapsed to the ground during the temblor.
He is especially touched because a young girl he photographed during his first trip four years ago was among the 26 children brought to Florida last night to join their adoptive families.
"Mantanya is on my Facebook page. She used to fit in this little bucket they used to wash the babies. Her parents died in a flood and she was brought to the orphanage; she is just the most beautiful child," he said.
"I was given a picture of her from last night, when she joined her new family," he said, choking back tears. "It has come full circle."
Many of his Haiti pictures will be on display at OutWest, and anyone purchasing the pictures will be asked to make their check directly to Three Angels Children's Relief. Funds are needed to stabilize the building, which was damaged, but not destroyed.
"Now that it's empty, it's going to fill up again," Lozano explained. "Hopefully we can open the doors again soon."