Afghan Portraits: Windows of the Soul

Dear Friends,

Many of you have mentioned that you are waiting to see some of my new work from the trip to West Africa. I will give a general overview of the trip in my next post for now I would like to share with you a current exhibit I set up just before I left for West Africa and will continue into the beginning of November.

Afghan Portraits:   Windows to the Soul

Hudson Valley Community College Library,  Troy, New York

September 1, 2012 – November 9, 2012

 A link to the library hours.

New cafe area at the library showing the exhibit.

 Afghan Women Speak


Soraya speaking about the plight of the Afghan woman.

Fall 2012 Voices, A Library Lecture Series

Hudson Valley Community College

Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium

Thursday, November 8  Noon – 12:50 p.m.

 Connie Frisbee Houde, a photojournalist who has traveled deep into the heart of Afghanistan, will share images that give voice to Afghan women. In her audiovisual presentation will depict the realities of Afghan life as the women attempt to keep alive their autonomy, culture and community.  The poignant beauty of Afghanistan and the strength of its own women will be evident.

West Africa

Hello all,

Sorry not to get any posts out but internet has been more than sparse.  Need to get ready for another busy day so I will attempted to post 4 photographs from a Bwa-Ba Mask Dance held in Burkina Faso and will send more information later when I am back in the states.

Masks and dancers waiting to be called to dance.

the dancer in trance making the mask come alive

The villagers joyously watching and the kids curious about the white quests.

Joyous Occasion

Some of you may know that one of my joys is very fine sewing…what I did for fun as I grew up. It also has been a strong connection with the female line of my family. I was taught by my mother at age 5 who learned from her mother. I had always wanted to pass the knowledge on to my own daughter. Not having a daughter to do this with I did the next best thing…I taught some of the daughters of my close friends. Sarah was one. About this time last year she asked if I would remake her Grandmother’s wedding dress that also had been remade for one of her Aunts. The “task” was completed Wednesday, August 29, 2012, and the beautiful wedding took place yesterday September 2. Here are some of the photographs featuring the happy bride in the dress. I am so honored and grateful that Sarah gave me this opportunity.

Sarah with her father Chris walking down the “aisle”.

My favorite of Sarah just after Joe, her now husband, covered her before the Jewish service.

The new married couple.

It was a wonderful day!!!

Now to get home to pack to leave for West Africa tomorrow morning.

West Africa Here I come!

News Update!

Dear Friends,

I seem to tell myself that I am going to make entries on a more regular basis and then time passes. Now I will catch you up, dear readers, with my latest activities.

First during from September 22 to October 28th I have had 50 images at The Basset Gallery at the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, a wonderful gallery in Camden, South Carolina. I was chosen to open their season. My husband and I packed up our Prius and Drove stoping to see my Afghan American friend Fahima Vorgetts on the way catching up on her most recent visit to Afghanistan and a followup to Mir Taqui Shah where  together with Women Against War supported the construction of a clean drinking water and irrigation well (see a previous blog entry and more will follow).

As you enter the gallery.

One wall contained images dedicated to Tom Little, who was killed August 5, 2010, and his work for the National Organization for Opthalmic Rehabilitation.

Images of NOOR and Tom Little.

To give some additional ambiance to a sense of Afghanistan I included some dressed dolls and handcrafts made by Afghan women.

A section concerning women.

While I was in Camden I spoke at 5 different schools both middle and High school classes.

Camden High School entrance.

I talked of the culture and the people and my work sharing numbers of my images. The students expressed interest and asked many questions.

Stover Middle School

Camden Middle School showing the students a burka.

Back in Albany I went straight to editing and printing for an exhibition of images from Ghana Good Morning Teacher at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 85 Chestnut Street, Albany, NY. These 41 photos will be on display for the African Family Night, Saturday November 5th from 5 to 8:30.  This is a fundraiser for the African projects that the church supports and there will be a diner of delicious African food. Please contact the church for more information at

Opening panel.

Since all my frames where used for the exhibition in South Carolina, I decided to use Rare Earth Magnets and steel tacks to hang the unframed prints, which I think worked quite well for what has been basically a two night show.

The beautiful expressive children.

For the Albany first Friday event the church provided two wonderful musicians.

The next project was working with Women Against War Afghan Committee’s effort to draw attention to the continuation of the occupation of Afghanistan by bringing to the Capital District area an exhibition Windows and Mirrors. In 2009, the American Friends Service Committee seeking contributions for a traveling memorial to Afghan civilians who have died in the war. This community exhibit is a selection of 25 installations of the originals. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in U.S history, yet for many of us it has been rendered largely invisible. This exhibition is an opening and an invitation to reflect upon the impact of this war on a civilian population caught in the crossfire. For details of the event surrounding these powerful banners check  We held a press conference to introduce the banners to the public.

The press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

This weekend the banners were at the Opalka gallery.

The Opalka Gallery

On October 25 a Peace rally  1oth Anniversary of the US War in Afghanistan. How is the War Economy Working For you?  I read a poem of Nadai Anjumon an Afghan women poet concerning the plight of Afghan women which has not changed and in some areas is the worst that it has been for some time.

Maureen Aumand leading the Grannies for Peace procession.

Grannies for Peace procession.

We were also blessed to have Congressmen Paul Tonko speak and support the effort to end the War in Afghanistan and bring our Troops home.

Congressman Tonko speaking against the War in Afghansitan.

As a last comment I wish to tank my husband who has supported my incredibly involved life and who feeds me both my heart and my belly in between all these events.

Frank Houd and David Easter.

And my dear friend if you have made it to the end of this post I thank you.  Please look for a future entry concerning the progress in the village in Afghanistan which we support and I hope we can continue to support as well as my next exhibit in Elmira, New York in November — Afghan Portraits: Windows to the Soul.


Ghana is a beautiful country full of many very hospitable people.

Country side

Mama Alice our Ghanaian organizer is an example of the powerful women who make a difference in the world not just their own country.

Mama Alice

Westminster Presbyterian Church, who sponsored this trip, published a brochure as a tribute to Mama Alice and used a number of my photographs. Here is a link to the pdf.

Ghanatrip11 Alice Tribute

Look for an announcement of an  exhibition of some of this work October 7th at Westminster Presbyterian Church for the October 1st Friday in Albany.  I hope to see you there.

Watching the littlest one while the family prepares fufu for the cafe.

News Update!

Look forward to seeing you all when I return.


Exhibit Announcement

It seems I am getting busier and busier.  I have two shows both with receptions tomorrow evening, June 3 for the Albany, New York, First Friday. The first is a 4 person show Childhood Through the Lens at the Social Art Gallery located at the Family & Children’s Service of the Capital Region, 650 Warren Street (462-6531). It is a large space on two floors in a relatively new building.  Warren Hamilton, Wendy MacRoberts, Jill Malouf and myself have filled the walls with images of children.  The reception begins at 5pm.  Here is a taste of my images in the show to wet your appetite for more.

Peruvian boy 1997

Similar expressions form children around the world.

The second — a solo show I titled Gone Fishing : Images from Vacation Spots.  You might be surprised at some of the locations represented in the selection of photographs. This is held at the Wine Bar & Bistro located at 200 Lark Street.  This is a little gem of a place with a very European feel. Great wall colors that enhance my photographs.  I will be there from about 6pm on enjoying a bite to eat.

Iguana, St John, Virgin Islands

Stoned creature, St John, Virgin Islands

Hope to see you at one of these events.

Exhibit Announcement

Hello all,

This may be short notice but here is my latest show.


Rensselaerville is a wonderful “hill town” full of old houses and people with a lot of spirit. They will be holding an intercultural dialogue with open discussion at 2:00 PM on Saturday April 30, 2011. Screening at Conkling Hall of the award winning documentary film Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think followed by a panel of distinguished guests, including a local Iman and a vetern of the Iraq war, and moderated by a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter. A reception will follow. Free will donation. Reservations are advisable: call 518-797-3459 and leave a message.

12:00-6:00PM Art exhibit at the Way Out Gallery, featuring Kamil Chadirji’s engraved photographs of Iraq during the 1920′ and 1930’s and contemporary photographs from Afghanistan by photojournalist Connie Frisbee Houde. Opening reception is at 5:00PM. Exhibit can also be seen on May 7 and Sunday May 8th.

6:30 PM and 8:30 PM Community dinner (two seatings) at the Palmer House Cafe. Behroush Sharifi, culinary muse and spice supplier to the top chefs in the world is collaborating with Chef Bill Benson to create a “Saffron Smugglers” event. the 6-course menu is informed by the cuisines of India and the Middle East, all fashioned from local ingredients to create an All American feast. Molly O”Neill, author of One Big Table, will interview Sharifi between courses. The prix fixe meal is $40. For reservations call 518-797-3449.

Hope to see you there. In gratitude for all you interest and support.


St. John, Virgin Islands

©Maho Bay Sunrise, St John, Virgin Islands March 7, 2011

Dear friends,

It has been some time since I have made an entry to this blog.  I have had many ideas and many things to share. Somehow the tragedy I experienced in the August was more on my mind than I wanted to admit. Finding a “comfortable” place for my heart and soul has taken some time as I rethink and hopefully work to expand my outlook – a trip to the Adirondack’s in September was the beginning.

©Spitfire Lake, Adirondacks, New York September 7, 2010

A vacation with my husband and four very good friends at St John’s in the Virgin Islands has done wonders for trying my hand at a different type of photography. I hope that you will see my vision and soul in the beauty of the earth that I experienced there.

You are invited to an exhibition of new work.

Opening Reception
Friday March 25, 2011  5pm to 8pm Troy Night Out.
Artcentric 274 River Street, Troy, New York



©Anaberg Sugar Mill, St. John, Virgin Islands March 10, 2011


for more information call 518-272-4278

I have 11 photographs from the magic and majesty of the island; two from an October 2010 trip to Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA; and one from the Adirondack’s in September of 2010.

©Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA October 2010

If you can’t make the opening, Artcentric is open Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 11am to 6pm; Saturday 10 am to 5pm; Sunday 12 noon to 4pm or by appointment.

I do hope to see many of you there this Friday.