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Published August 25, 2008
byline: Tillie Fong
Rocky Mountain News


CIVIC CENTER - A work crew has been working through the night to set up a photo exhibit on Iran.

"We get 48 hours in the park for the project," said Tom Loughlin, a Crested Butte artist, who was overseeing the installation.

Dubbed "Pictures of you: Images of Iran" the photos are printed on large sheets of fabric, which are then stretched over a metal framework of a Persian home, with an octagonal room as the centerpiece.

"The 8-sided room is where an Iranian family would welcome visitors," said Loughlin. "So we want to welcome people into the exhibit."

The roof is made of photos of the ceiling of a mosque in Isfahan, Iran. The walls of the rest of the structure will be photos of people. A speaker system will also broadcast sounds Loughlin recorded while in Iran.

"You'll hear kids playing in the street, but they're speaking Farsi," he said.

Loughlin went to Iran three times in the past three years to photograph ordinary people in Iran, going about their daily lives.

"I wanted to show that we're all human beings, we're all made of flesh," he said. "I think that gets lost in all the politics."

He plans to hang life-size portraits from wires stretched across the two "halls" of the building.

"That way, people will meet Iranians face to face," said Loughlin.

He decided to have the world premiere of the exhibit this week during the Democratic National Convention.

"We're making an important decision in November," he said. " (Barack) Obama said he would be willing to sit down with the Iranians and talk, but (John) McCain thinks it's OK to bomb Iran. I think people should learn more about Iran in order to make a good decision."

The exhibit will be up until 11 p.m. Tuesday. Loughlin plans to tour the country with the exhibit, but said he will have to do some fundraising first.

"We're not going to be exhibiting in art galleries," he said. "We're more likely to be at state fairs."


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Donate now! 'pictures of you: images from iran' is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of pictures of you may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.