Sunday, August 5, 2012


The Big Picture is an idiom often used in spoken language that refers to the overall perspective of objective, not just the fine details.  It is an expansion of meaning that gives way to an over-arching theme.  The details provide meaning, which eventually yields to understanding. In the visual language of photojournalism, comprehension is not determined by a large frame but rather, by large context.

Iris PhotoCollective is pleased to announce its groundbreaking exhibition Big Picture, a group show curated by photojournalist, Carl Juste.

Big Picture will open August 17, 2012, 7pm at The Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, Florida. The gallery is approximately 2,100 square feet with high vaulted ceilings—a perfect venue with ample space for an exhibition of this magnitude.

The exhibition will display sixteen colossal images by sixteen extraordinary photojournalists. The work will be featured in high- resolution quality and size that will make viewers feel like they are part of the scene, allowing them to experience the event first hand.  Each image is a physical manifestation of the expansion of meaning.  The truth and relativity of the facts are the ingredients that expand the comprehension of the image.  The viewer sees the larger context because they are drawn into the expanding frame, hence made to see the Big Picture.

                                                                                                 Jahi Chikwendiu/Washington Post - Kogelo, Kenya 2009

Thousands of miles from Washington, DC, Kenyans celebrate the incoming U.S. presidency of Barack Obama.  Kenyans, particularly from this village where the president's father was born, symbolically claim the new US president as their own president.

A scene shot through one of the shawls that were on sale on the grounds of the Senator Barack Obama Secondary School in Kogelo, Kenya, where the incoming US president has roots.

What is your big picture? Tell us.

Come to see, feel, and get the Big Picture. 

Get the "Big Picture" right here, right now:

Big Picture
August 17, 2012 @ 7pm
212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, Fl 33137
Little Haiti Cultural Center Gallery

Friday, May 4, 2012

Eyes to the World

The Iris PhotoCollective is exhibiting an international body of work from the last two decades at the New Beginnings Barber Shop in Baltimore. Troy Staton, owner of New Beginnings, has created an amazing gallery in the West Baltimore neighborhood across from Hollins Market to bring art directly to the people.

The Iris PhotoCollective is made up of four like-minded photographers who believe that when poor people and people of color are locked out of the mainstream dialogue, they are left to believe that their views and ideas are not valid. With that in mind, their work has always been about relationships, and documenting the relationships of people of color to each other and the world. By preserving the subject’s dignity and elevating content over aesthetic, they are creating a body of work that fits into a larger context of cultural diversity and human understanding.

Come out and see the work. Join us at the reception, Sunday, May 6, 2012. New Beginnings Barber Shop, 1047 Hollins St, Baltimore 21223, from 3-6 pm. Show runs through June 30th.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Iris Rising: QR Art Guide

This QR code will take you to the mobile site using your QR phone app.

 Iris PhotoCollective, in collaboration with sound curator George Fishman, have placed QR codes in "Eclectic", a art showcase at the Little Haiti Community Center (LHCC) in Miami, Florida.  Using your smart phone,  just scan the QR code and you can learn about this exciting new technology.

You can download a QR code scanner for your smart phone now by going to and following the instructions. After the application is installed in your phone, you just launch it and “snap” a QR code, as though you were taking a photo. The app will read it and automatically open the link, so the audio can play. You can listen right away, or snap the code and listen later. Most apps keep a “history” of codes you have scanned.

ABOUT QR ART GUIDE is a service that records and edits artist and curatorial commentaries then delivers them to audiences through their smart phones. Visit the site on your computer or smart phone for more information. 

Photojournalist Carl Juste, left, is interviewed by Fishman.

George Fishman received a fine arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He has designed and created commissioned mosaic artworks for 25 years, while also writing, editing and presenting at conferences and serving on arts boards. In 2009 he began recording interviews with arts professionals, collecting them on the Mosaic of Art web site, and now links edited audio commentaries to QR codes for galleries, artists and institutions 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Iris Rising: "A Woman's Eye"

The exhibit is an array of exciting IPC Visual Lab students' works by four women who, each equipped with a unique personal and professional vision, interpret life in South Florida through visual symbols.  Their documentary photography is driven by a wide range of emotional forces – humanistic and aesthetic – distinctly synergized by the feminine perspective.

The exhibit is curated by Carl Juste, an award-winning Miami Herald photojournalist who most recently, co-curated the highly acclaimed “I Witness” exhibit at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery – a seminal body of work by international photojournalists.   Jenny Babot Romney co-curates and exhibits her own work.

Commenting upon the importance of showcasing the female perspective, Juste says, “Women offer a holistic approach and try to find a more complete picture.  Rather than searching for visual impact, they offer more of a visual stroke.”

Exhibiting artists, all photography students at the IPC Visual Lab co-founded by Juste, come from four different walks of life:

Jenny Babot Romney is Presentation Manager for the Advertising Division of the Miami Herald Media Company.  Romney began studying photography 8 years ago and she freelances as a portraiture and wedding photographer.

Jennifer Kay is a Miami-based journalist for the Associated Press.  Kay has twice been a finalist for the South Florida Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards, honored by the National Association of Caribbean-American Journalists, and won a 1999-2000 Virginia Press Award for a front-page story about gang activity in the D.C. metro area.

Sacha Suarez is Senior Manager, Partner Relations at Univision.  Her true passion and calling since age 14 has been art – drawing, painting, and molding any medium.  Suarez is a professional artist and freelances for the Miami Herald and private engagements.

Nanci Thomas founded the Oscar Thomas Foundation in 1997 as a vehicle to perpetuate the memory of her late husband, his achievements, and to carry on his dream of a better life for others through the power of art.  Thomas’ husband was an iconic billboard, mural, and portrait artist who was once described by NBC News as “the country’s leading artist of Dr. Martin Luther King.”  Thomas, who once studied art with her late husband, reclaimed her artistic voice through learning photography.

“A Woman’s Eye is a project inspired from observation and a feeling of passion for South Florida where so much of life is lived out in the open, in the streets, as well as in its natural environment, “comments Jenny Babot Romney.  “South Florida is a vibrant and colorful place that takes center stage through the eyes of these four female photographers.”

Whereas each woman brings a different viewpoint, the exhibit as a collective showcases the possibility of visual storytelling.  “The exhibit,” says Juste “is a conduit for creativity and an opportunity to channel it into something positive.  Together these women can speak a greater truth not achieved individually.”
“A Woman’s Eye” runs through June, 2012 Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with other hours available by appointment by calling (305) 751-8367.  The exhibit is free.

 What:       "A Woman's Eye"

When:      Saturday, April 21, 2012
                  6:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Where:     ACND Gallery of Art
                 Archbishop Curley Notre Dame Prep
                 4949 NE 2nd, Avenue
                 Miami, Florida 33137

Contact:  305-751-8367


Monday, March 19, 2012


Iris Rising: Phyllis Reed Speaks on Diversity
Educator, therapist, author, and counselor Phyllis Reed shares her thoughts and universal message during her children book signing event at the Little Haiti Cultural Center on February 20, 2012.  
Photos by Carl Juste/IPC 

It was literally and figuratively a depiction of a diverse universe.  I arrived dressed to depict my diverse Island blend of colors and my unique Jamaican multi-cultural styles of Indian long flowing skirt, Chinese
 long decorated silk top and draped with a long beaded silk scarf.

It was Big Night in Little Haiti at the hauntingly beautiful Little Haiti Cultural Center.  I discovered the Center in December last year and it immediately became my best cultural find as I was mesmerized by the beautiful Haitian Art mural that adorned the entrance.  The grandeur of the structure with its art and photo exhibits of every kind.  It is truly something to behold, too well kept a secret in multi-cultural Miami.

Back to Big Night, the 3rd Friday of every month, I arrived exactly at 6:00 pm for my book reading which was slated for 6:30 to be followed by book signing 7:oo-8:oo pm.  On arriving I was caught by surprise at the large crowd of hundreds that lined the sidewalks and around the mural as two bands played on.  The crowd was orderly and the atmosphere radiant and relaxed.   I was greeted by everyone with wide loving smiles giving me the impression that they all knew me.  It felt great, I was home among friends.

My dear friend Prima decorated the table with my books, tapes, Cd’s, cards- it showed the skilled professional artist she is.  In the meantime, I greeted the 25-30 children and their parents as they assembled in the boardroom for my reading of One Diverse Universe, my recently published children’s book, that is getting rave reviews.  I established a relaxed, interactive threshold by talking with the parents and children before I began to read.


 The children were at rapt attention, as they listened to what I had to say I began to read from One Diverse Universe.   It was a diverse group of Haitians, Jamaicans and other Caribbean Islanders, Hispanics from many countries and cultures, white and black Americans and Europeans, among who was by friend Anna from Estonia and her toddler Miles. Before I started to read I exhorted the parents to read to their kids
from early in their lives to instill the virtues of reading. 

As I read I explained the oneness of all mankind, I identified the beauty in the diverse mixture in plants, foods, animals; and uniqueness and similarity in humankind of all races, cultures, religions, nationalities, languages and occupations.  The children answered questions about professions they will hold in the future, some wanted to write books, yes they become what they see.

It was a small diverse group but beauty, harmony and love was seen and felt.  In appreciation one parent wanted to know what prompted me to write One Diverse Universe.   I got choked up for the first time in the evening as I identified my love for children and wanting to help them navigate successfully as they soar upwards in life.  The answer for addressing bullying was well received by the nodding of heads as were the admonitions to “spread peace not war, love not hate, shake hands not clench fists, say nothing bad, let something good be said instead.”

It was an awesome night among new found family and above all…the children and dear friends who drop by to give support such as Otto and Carl Juste  with some of his students who snapped away as I read.

One Diverse group, caring, sharing, giving, supporting in love, peace, harmony and Oneness – children of all ages. 

- Phyllis Reed

Friday, February 24, 2012

IPC Visual Lab Spring Semester

IRIS Rising
IPC Visual Lab is holding its Open House on Friday, March 16th, 2012 in conjunction with the Rhythm Foundation's Big Night in Little Haiti Third Friday event.

IPC Visual Lab is an intensive hands-on program begins Saturday, March 24.  Students are encouraged to be creative, but are also taught to think of each project as a concise statement of artistic, documentary and journalistic intent. Personalized attention and review by award-winning photojournalists Carl Juste and C.W. Griffin, whose teaching approach is refreshing, fun and very engaging.  Instructors and students will be present to answer any questions.

Miami Herald staff photojournalists, Al Diaz, will be on hand to showcase "Think Tank" products.  We have special raffles for attendees and incentives for early registration (deadline for early-bird registration is March 18, 2012).

Intro to Photoshop                  3/31          Randy Mitchel
Writing Workshop                  4/14          Jon O'Neil
Intro to Social Media              5/5           Deborah Acosta

IPC Visual Lab classes begin March 24th and ends on May 26, 2012.
IPC Visual Lab offers Beginning, Intermediate, and Advance Study classes for both adults and youths.  Registration for classes is $20.00 and tuition is listed below.  Tuition and registration are not refundable. 

All workshop are free for IPC Visual Lab students, but the public is welcome at a
cost of $20.00/workshop.  You can pre-register for all three workshops at a reduce rate.

Contact IPC Visual Lab for further details or attend the IPC Visual Lab Open House.  Please RSVP for classes and workshops in advance since space is limited. 

IPC Visual Lab 
Little Haiti Cultural Center
212 NE 59th Terrace
Miami, Florida 33137

Beginning Class 400.00/550.00
Intermediate Class 500.00/750.00
Advance Studies tba/1250.00