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Archive 5 - January - March 2001

Gallery Two
Member Profile & Portfolio

Helen M Stummer
New York City, New York

I am trying to tell a photographic story about what I know. I know about grieving and feeling invisible, being trapped in an evil environment, desperate and poor. I desire to illuminate the darkness, to find beauty in ugliness, and clarity in chaos-- to experience the emotion and human intimacy of the moment briefly immerses me in ecstasy.

Helen M. Stummer has an MA in Visual Sociology and is the author of No Easy Walk, Newark, 1980-1993, published by Temple University Press. The book depicts the suburbanites, journey into the inner-city community, records what she has experienced and celebrates the human spirit. "I hope the book is widely read," Jonathan Kozol, 1994.

David L. Ames, Professor of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, University of Delaware stated, "Your (Stummer's) pictures and text give a sense of the reality of a central city ghetto that is unique--students have a hard time with it, which is good."

For over twenty years. as a free-lance documentary photographer, Stummer has been photographing the struggles and dignity of poor people in Newark, NJ., the Lower East Side of Manhattan, rural Maine, and in Comalapa, Guatemala. Although geographically diverse, they speak the same language. It is the language of the streets, the subsistence farms, the aldeas. It is the mother tongue of oppressed people everywhere...Poverty.

In 1999, one of Stummer's photographs, "Quinzel, Cornelius and Hasan," from 1,800 entries of mixed media was awarded, Best In Show, during the NJ Center for the Visual Art,s International Juried Competition. The show was judged by Lisa Denison, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC.

After two solo exhibit,s at the O.K. Harris Works of Art Gallery in NYC., the Director, Ivan Karp, in 1999 wrote, "O.K. Harris has shown fine photography for thirty years. Helen Stummer is one of the few exhibitors whose work has universal response. Her work is mature, complex, provocative and illuminating. Her dedication to her human subjects is unique in its powerful focus. We revere her lofty idealism."

A 1994-95 recipient of the NJ Council on the Art's Fellowship, 1992 Geraldine Dodge Foundation Fellowship, as well as a Fellowship in 1991 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional, and a 1990 New Jersey Historical Commission were among the many awards and honors that Stummer's work has received.

Being in the permanent collections of The Brooklyn Museum, The Newark Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The Jersey City Museum, The Center For Photography, Woodstock, NY, and in numerous private collections--Barbara Millstein, Curator of Photography of the Brooklyn Museum write in 1999, čI have been looking at and purchasing the photographs of Helen M. Stummer since 1985. Ms. Stummer has dedicated herself to a photographic project dealing with one of the most seriously neglected and crime-ridden wards of Newark, New Jersey. Stummer not only turned her camera on her subjects, but also took an interest in their welfare and became a valued friend. Her photographs reflect this dedication and more, they are often very beautiful as well as moving and they are full of sensitivity and love...

web site:

e-mail: Helen Stummer

Rest in Peace project by Helen Stummer: documenting wall memorials, grieving rituals and hope in Newark and surrounding urban areas will be on exhibit in April 2001. Aljira Gallery for Contemporary Art in Newark, 973-643-6877. Info.




Gallery One

Sylvia White
Featured Artist

Gallery Two

Helen M. Stummer
Member Profile

Gallery Three

Kodak Girls
Historical Profile