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The Exhibit

Mentes Hermosas - Exhibit Floor Panel

The exhibit photographer, Art Moreno Jr., has two heartfelt objectives for Mentes Hermosas:

 

Firstly, Art aims to dismantle the damaging stereotype that associates fear with mental illness. Instead, he endeavors to reveal the inherent beauty and dignity of individuals facing mental health challenges, even amidst their most difficult moments.

 

Secondly, Art seeks to offer vital financial support to the sanctuary by raising funds through donations and ticket sales for this exceptional photo exhibition. Every penny generated will directly benefit Vision in Action. This endeavor is deeply personal for Art, driven by his unwavering commitment to shine a light on and bolster the remarkable efforts of the sanctuary.

MADE IN ITALY

 

The captivating images featured in this exhibit will be beautifully displayed on 24x60” double-sided, ultra-transparent floor-standing acrylic panels. This choice of medium has been carefully selected to highlight the photographs' vibrant colors and intricate details. Excellent print fidelity and straightforward color management ensure a flawless final product. Crafted with precision and expertise, these panels were custom-made in Italy by GraphiStudio to deliver breathtaking results.

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Mentes Hermosas - Exhibit Floor Panels

In my extensive journey as a commercial photographer, particularly drawn to portraiture, I've often pondered the tendency for people to become guarded or distant around those labeled as "different." Whether the dissimilarity is apparent physically or lies within mental realms, it's the labeling that seems to stick, defining individuals as mentally or physically challenged, handicapped, or, in more delicate terms, unique.

 

Many of us haven't taken the opportunity to truly gaze into the eyes of those grappling with mental or physical hurdles, or to peer beyond the surface. Perhaps it's because we shy away from what doesn't fit into our perception of normalcy. I've frequently found myself contemplating how such individuals might perceive me in return.

Art Moreno Jr - El Paso Photographer

Art Moreno Jr., Exhibit Photographer

"Mentes Hermosas" (Beautiful Minds) is a poignant portrait exhibit that I meticulously captured, showcasing a remarkable community at a lesser-known mental facility in Juárez, Mexico. Through this exhibit, I aim to illuminate a facet of humanity often relegated to the shadows of society, forgotten and overlooked. Accompanying each portrait is the personal story of the individual, a privilege seldom granted. I sincerely hope this exhibit will alter your perception of human vulnerability and its profound impact on us all.

 

Every portrait within this collection was taken on-site at Visión En Acción Misión Rescate A.C. in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. For the past 28 years, Vision in Action has served as a sanctuary for individuals grappling with neurological and mental conditions. The demands placed on those battling mental illness can be overwhelming and unceasing, and this sanctuary provides unwavering support and care to this vulnerable population daily.

In curating this exhibit, Pastor Jose Antonio Galvan, the founder of the sanctuary, alongside his assistant Josue, a former patient turned nurse, compassionately assisted each individual in finding a comfortable pose, reassuring them that my presence was solely to capture their essence through photography. Once at ease, each subject freely expressed themselves, resulting in portraits brimming with genuine emotion and authenticity.

Art Moreno Jr with the exhibit media

This exhibit seeks to draw attention and vital support to the invaluable lives depicted here through financial contributions. As you delve into the stories of these resilient individuals—our fellow brothers and sisters of humanity—may you not only deepen your comprehension of the fragility of human existence but also allow yourself to be profoundly moved by the narratives that unfold within this exhibition.

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