Join award winning photographer Ryan Spencer Reed, and Frank Ettawageshik the executive director of the United Tribes of Michigan as we explore the resulting effects of Photojournalism on our society.
Artists North, a newly established nonprofit arts organization serving northern
Michigan, is opening its 2017 lecture series, Art-Effects, Insight and Enlightenment,
with a special event scheduled for Thursday, August 3, at 7:30 p.m., in the gallery of
Glass Lakes Photography at 324 E. Lake Street in Petoskey. Initial funding for the
development of the series comes from two donor designated funds administered by
the Petoskey – Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation.
Award winning photojournalist, Ryan Spencer Reed, will be joined on stage by Frank
Ettawageshik, Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan to talk about the
potential power of the arts to inspire members of a free society to take action on
their own behalf. “From my perspective, the arts are the hammer Pete Seeger sang
about in the late fifties,” suggests Artists North President, Dale Hull. “I’m looking
forward to what Ryan and Frank have to say about what impact the arts are having
on the social issues we wrestle with today.”
Tickets, at $22.50 for adults and $15 for students, are on sale today, both at Glass
Lakes Photography and online at mynorthtickets.com. According to our host for the
event, Joe Clark of Glass Lakes Photography, “We have limited seating, approximately
75 in the gallery, so I suggest you get your tickets as soon as possible.”
Ryan Spencer Reed honed his skills as a photographer learning from his uncle and
cousin at Todd & Brad Reed Photography of Ludington, but in 2002, Ryan began to
focus on photojournalism. He documented the Sudanese Diaspora throughout war
torn South Sudan and Darfur and the struggles suffered by refugees fleeing to
Eastern Chad and Kenya. The images he captured speak volumes about humanity’s
capacity for cruelty as well as the perseverance of the human spirit.
Once home, Ryan turned his focus on America and our own soldiers at war. “As an
embedded storyteller, I accompanied the modern incarnation of the Band of
Brothers through two years of training, a deployment to Afghanistan, and our return
home. My traveling show is the result of an effort to tell the story of one of the last
units to deploy to a combat mission in Afghanistan, ending the longest running war
in US history: Operation Enduring Freedom.”
Ryan’s most recent interest led him to document the conflicts, both physically and
intellectually, inherent in the Standing Rock conflict. “Our audience will learn a great
deal from what Ryan has experienced there,” claims Frank Ettawageshik, Ryan’s
partner on stage.
Frank Ettawageshik lives in Harbor Springs. He is an artist: a writer, a traditional
storyteller and a potter, believing that native people need to be rooted in their
traditions in order to be prepared for the future. In Frank’s view of the world, the
arts not only reflect our culture over time but also form the basis for decision
making destined to shape our future. Frank’s recent experiences in trying to shape
our collective future are impressive.
He served fourteen years as the Tribal Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of
Odawa Indians. During his tenure as Tribal Chairman Frank was instrumental in the
adoption of the Tribal and First Nations Great Lakes Water Accord in 2004 and the
United League of Indigenous Nations Treaty in 2007.
Frank is now serving as the Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan, as
Chairman of the United League of Indigenous Nations Governing Board, and as Cochair
of the National Congress of American Indians Federal Recognition Task Force.
In December 2015, Frank attended the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change, Council of the Parties 21 (UNFCCC COP21) in Paris, France, as a
delegate from the National Congress of American Indians.
Frank Ettawageshik and Ryan Reed will concentrate on the role the arts play in
helping us understand our cultural past; and, perhaps more importantly, shaping
our collective future.