NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York is considered the art capitol of America, but to show in New York, you don’t need to be world famous.
One family made it by simply showing the world. The Sloyers are the focus of this week’s Snapshot New York with CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.
There is no degree required to set up a gallery. You just need images that have an impact.
Alan and Michael Sloyer are a father-and-son duo whose exhibit is about the power of human connection.
“Every single person in this world has a story and every single person in this world is meaningful and is important,” Michael Sloyer said.
They’re in the final stages of setting up their premiere exhibit in New York, a big step for two men who have no professional photography experience.
“It’s SoHo in New York City which is, like, the epicenter of galleries,” Alan Sloyer said. “Some people say that if they stop at your photograph for more than five seconds, it means something more to them.”
Alan Sloyer is a doctor. Michael Sloyer is a former executive at Goldman Sachs. Five years ago, he volunteered in Ghana. They captured his heart and ever since, he’s been capturing their images.
“We have always loved photography as an art form and have always thought of it as a way to connect with people,” Michael Sloyer said. “When we’re walking through villages or through markets or wherever we’re traveling, it always facilitates connection to the people that we meet because, you know, the people say hi to the camera or somebody might, you know, kind of shy away from it, and when you have that interaction, there’s always, like, some sort of connection.”
The pop-up exhibit is called “Life Living Life.” All sales benefit the charity Ghana Make A Difference, providing communities with shelter, education and jobs.
“With this event, we’ll be at basically $1 million over the course of the five events,” Michael Sloyer said.
What can $1 million do in Ghana? Michael Sloyer says $1,400 can pay one teacher’s salary for a year, so $1 million can help employ 1,000 teachers.
Just an hour before opening, decisions were being finalized on the placement of the photos, windows to another world.
“They can probably teach us more than we can teach them. They understand what it means to live simply and actually be present,” Michael Sloyer said.
Can travel make you more empathetic? Is that the path to wisdom?
“It is a wisdom and I think getting rid of the cell phone would be amazing,” Alan Sloyer said.
Images are the universal language. It’s a way of conveying ideas when words aren’t enough, showing us what’s real and inspiring humanity through charity.
“The title of this exhibition is ‘Life Living Life.’ if we can kind of glorify everybody, if we can, you know, bring everybody up, then we have achieved our goal,” Michael Sloyer said.
Images are priced between $1,000-$2,000 and will be on display through Dec. 8.
Visit ghanamakeadifference.org for more information about the charity Ghana Make A Difference.