Art exhibit brings Kosovo, Iowa closer

Film photography exhibit at Blanden links sister cities

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Evan Price, of Fort Dodge, looks over a photograph in a juried art exhibit at the Blanden Memorial Art Museum Saturday. Price studies photography at Iowa Central Community College.

The bond between Fort Dodge and its sister city of Gjakova, Kosovo, continues to strengthen.

On Saturday, a juried art exhibit was held at the Blanden Memorial Art Museum.

The judges were local artists from Kosovo. The art was submitted by Iowans.

The photos were sent to Kosovo and judged there.

It’s all part of the Fort Dodge Sister City Art Exchange Initiative, according to Eric Anderson, director of the Blanden Memorial Art Museum.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Eric Anderson, director of the Blanden Memorial Art Museum, looks on near a photo that was part of a juried art exhibit Saturday. The photos were judged by artists from Kosovo.

Fort Dodge and Gjakova became sister cities in December 2016.

Sehida Miftari, of Prizen, Kosovo, was one of the judges. She is a human rights activist and is passionate about photography.

Miftari previously won two performance awards at an international photography competition.

Lulzim Hoti, of Mitrovica, was the other judge. Hoti has 16 years of experience working in the community and cultural life development in Mitrovica.

During the war in Kosovo, Hoti took his film camera with him as he was moving out of the country as a refugee. He only took one picture.

In terms of the exhibit, Anderson said it was a bit nerve-racking trying to organize it in the beginning.

“Just the anticipation of not having enough entries,” Anderson said.

But the end result was satisfying.

“Being able to make that connection is exciting,” Anderson said. “It provided us an opportunity to see how people feel about images from Iowa. And we like what they picked.”

Out of 10 selections, the two jurors chose film images by Hans Madsen, of Dayton. One titled “Memorial Day in Dayton,” and the other called “Human Capital.”

Artan Duraku, minister consular with the Republic of Kosovo, was on hand at the Fort Dodge museum.

“We hope to see more of this,” Duraku said of the art exhibit. “Because this brings people together. Art is a language everyone can understand.”


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