Reunited with Boyz2

Boyz2Men in his studio

The last two times I was here, I connected with a young man my age who is the town’s resident artist. His name is Mahamadou Mumuri but he goes by the nickname “Boyz2Men.”

His art work is seen all over town in the form of commercial signage. He paints murals, signs, and does hand lettering for businesses. Mahamadou was never trained in art and has developed his own unique (and awesome) style. He always signs his work with his nickname and phone number and has really made a name for himself in the region.

Since I last saw him in 2008, his business has grown and he now has his own studio in town and gets commissioned to do work as far aways as Kumasi in the south of the country.

I’ve been hanging out with him a lot this week and hope to post more about him and his art in the weeks to come.

The Mindful Eye Photo of the Week

I often visit a great website called “The Mindful Eye.” It is an online photography community that features articles, tutorials, podcasts, and forums on all things photographic. One of their best features is The Daily Critique; every couple days they post a video where a professional photographer offers constructive criticism on a photo that was submitted by a user to be critiqued. Watching these short videos can teach you a lot about photography.

They also let users submit images to be considered for the Photo of the Week pick. The pick of the week is then critiqued by a pro. I was flattered not only to have a portrait I made at BMC get picked but get such wonderful comments by Atlanta-based professional photographer Craig Tanner. As usual, listening to his critique of my image taught me something new: specular highlights!

Here’s his critique:

If you have an interest in photography and are looking to improve your skillset, I highly recommend The Mindful Eye.

Finding Folk Art

I went on an excursion today with Dr. Femke Veldman, Elisabeth Faile, and two nurses. We headed to Nakpanduri to meet two local healers (herbalists, witch doctors, what ever you want to call them) and find out about their medicines and techniques. I’ll write more on that later.

This post is about the amazing art I saw at one of the healers’ home. We had been visiting with a woman healer and she asked us to greet her father (who taught her everything about the trade). She asked me to go in the room to take his picture. Thank goodness I brought my flash because there was no window and no light – it was almost pitch black. Read More

Advice for Pregnant Women

This image is dedicated to my expectant sister-in-law, Annie.

Use the Latrine Correctly

Art Show in Africa

50th-photo-exhibit-01.jpgOne of the “projects” I was asked to do for this trip was to setup a photo exhibit at the hospital. Last year I scanned dozens of old photos of the hospital and its staff. I had those images and some of my own printed and matted and brought them out.

This morning I set them up at the out patient department and was amazed at how fast a crowd of people gathered around them. Each person was closely analyzing each photograph and discussing them with each other in Mampruli. If only I could understand what they were saying (probably things like “eh, lacks impact”).

50th-photo-exhibit-02.jpgAs Christian and an artist, I believe that part of being made in God’s image and likeness means I have the ability to create, the desire to create, and the immense satisfaction of bringing joy to others with your creation. There is nothing more fulfilling than to see others not just see my work but interact with it and be positively affected by it.

You can see many of the old photos in the Media section of BMC website (on second slideshow screen under “From the BMC Scrapbook”).