Portrait of Turkey Exhibit Set for Cookeville

“Portrait of Turkey” Photo Exhibit Set for ART Upstairs

Cookeville, TN – May 6 – The spectacular imagery of ancient and modern Turkey is the focus of an exhibition organized by the Tennessee World Affairs Council and set to open at the ART Upstairs Gallery in Cookeville with a reception 5-8 p.m., Friday, May 14, 2010. The event, called “Portrait of Turkey: A Photographic Journey,” is one feature of the Council’s teacher education program which sponsored Tennessee educators on summer study tours to Turkey over the last two years.

The photographs share the places visited and people met in Turkey through the camera lenses of Dave Barrett, a teacher from Millington, Tennessee and Council President Patrick Ryan of Cookeville. The delegations began their educational journey in Istanbul, the magnificent bridge city between Europe and Asia that has written many chapters of the history of civilization and stunningly showcases its special sights and stories at every turn. The Tennessee educators traveling under the grant from the Turkish Cultural Foundation included three Putnam County teachers, Peggy Cho in 2008 and Peggy Fragopoulos and Faye Watts in 2009. Ryan traveled with a separate group of World Affairs Council representatives as part of the program. Among them they visited dozens of cities and sites around Western and Central Turkey beyond Istanbul including the great cities of antiquity like Troy, Ephesus and Aprhodisias, historic battlegrounds like Gallipoli, and centers of art and culture like Iznik and Bursa.

The 12-day tours for educators were designed to enhance teachers’ knowledge of Turkish art, architecture, music, culture and history to support the curriculum they employ in the classroom. “The Turkish Cultural Foundation, along with the national office of the World Affairs Councils of America have provided our local teachers with a world class program,” said Tennessee Council President Ryan. “The role of Turkey in world history and culture is astonishing and you come back from this trip with a long reading list to catch up on things you never knew as well as those you were taught and have forgotten.” He added, “Turkey is like one big open air museum for educators complemented by wonderful food, friendly people and warm hospitality – we hope the ‘Portrait of Turkey’ will convey that feeling.”

The photographic exhibit at ART Upstairs in the Maddux Building on Cookeville’s Courthouse Square will provide a snapshot of the delegations’ travels like images of mosques, palaces, shopping bazaars and people following the daily course of life in Turkish towns and cities. The exhibit, which opens May 14, 2010 with a reception runs through June 15, 2010. The Maddux Building is at 321 East Spring Street in Cookeville and the gallery entrance is at the elevator lobby. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“Portrait of Turkey” is the third leg of a comprehensive program for educators, along with the teacher delegations visiting Turkey and a local teacher workshop, sponsored by the Washington-based Turkish Cultural Foundation, the World Affairs Councils of America and the Tennessee World Affairs Council. Local support was provided by the Cookeville Arts Council and Ron Baker Photography.

The Tennessee World Affairs Council is a non profit, non partisan educational charity organized in Cookeville in 2007 to provide global awareness education resources and programs to students, educators and citizens. It welcomes new members and support through its web site at www.TNwac.org. ART, or Art ‘Round Tennessee, also sponsors the annual ART Prowl in Cookeville and you can learn more about the local art community at www.ArtProwl.com.