witf Events

Photographic pair on display

Written by witf.org, | Feb 26, 2013 10:24 AM

For Dennis Felty, his first job after college sparked his creative vision.

After graduating from Elizabethtown College in 1968, Felty worked at the Harrisburg State Hospital, an institution built to care for the mentally ill. Felty said he remembers the deplorable living conditions there vividly.

A few years later, he cofounded Keystone Human Services to aid people with severe disabilities. He remains its president today. And his professional experience influences his work as a fine-art photographer. He has completed a number of photographic essays of people living in state centers in Pennsylvania, as well as projects involving children who live in the orphanages and psychiatric hospitals of Russia, Romania and Moldova.

Some of his images will be on display from March 8 to May 8 in the Loewengard Atrium at the witf Public Media Center in Swatara Twp. The exhibit is a co-presentation with photographer Daniel Shanken and is called “Advancing the Human Spirit.”

Shanken is a commercial photographer at Shanken Photography Inc. in Harrisburg. With a background in photojournalism, Shanken covered the Israeli/Palestinian conflict for the Associated Press and photographed the towers of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The two artists share a common vision for their exhibit — both featuring images of people with disabilities. They aim for the viewer to see their subjects as people of worth, value and individuality.

The two have worked together for seven years,and have such a similar approach that Felty said he sometimes has difficulty remembering which images are his and which are Shanken’s. In this exhibit the artist who took each individual photograph will not be identified.

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