Theory-to-Practice ‘In Sight and Mind’

Ohio Wesleyan trip to Panama celebrated in Gallery 2001 exhibit

Tyler D. Travis ’14 photographs Gladys Chiru in San Pedro, Panama, during an August 2011 Theory-to-Practice experience to learn about documentary photography in rural Panama. The group’s work will be on display in Gallery 2001 from April 12 through May 20. (Photo by Paula Masters Travis ’91)

During a Theory-to-Practice Grant-funded trip to Panama, six Ohio Wesleyan University community members experienced life through a different lens.

In August 2011, the OWU group visited San Pedro and Tranquilla, Panama, spending a week interviewing, teaching basic photography skills, and photographing 20 women. The experience is captured in a new art exhibit that will be on display from April 12 through May 20 in Gallery 2001 inside Beeghly Library.

“Every day around the world, women face personal and social constraints that are generally communicated through words, cultural practices, individual actions and institutional policies,” states Paula Masters Travis ’91, who participated in the trip. “All too often their daily lives go unnoticed and undocumented. As representatives from Ohio Wesleyan University, we [have created] a photographic exhibition that provides a voice and forever documents the life stories of women … who strive for ecological and sustainable living with Sustainable Harvest International.”

Maine-based Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is a nonprofit organization that works with families in Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama to teach them how to overcome poverty and create sustainable lifestyles that also preserve the planet’s tropical forests.

In addition to Travis, Jeff Nilan, associate professor of fine arts, and students Nyssa Berman ’12, Mary Heidamos ’12, Tyler D. Travis ’14, and Mary Martha Nilan ’15 also participated in the Theory-to-Practice experience.

All have contributed photographs for the exhibit titled “In Sight and Mind: A Photographic Collaboration with Women of Rural Panama.” The display will kick off with reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 12 that features a gallery talk at 4:10 p.m. with Travis and Florence Reed, SHI’s president and founder.

Learn more about Sustainable Harvest International at Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Theory-to-Practice Grant program and other travel-learning opportunities at

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