Dan McInnis’ “Battleground”

Daniel McInnis, assistant professor of art, created a photo exhibit entitled “Battleground” that benefitted Project Woman.

“Battleground” is a portfolio of work that McInnis started in 2011, and the images were displayed in the Ann Miller Gallery in Koch Hall last fall. “Battleground” started with the pictures printed in book form and will finish that way, with a final edited version this summer.

The portfolio began as a collection of photos that were taken with an iPhone. McInnis was pleased with his decision to stick to a lighter, more portable camera.

“Since the larger, more ‘professional’ cameras that I typically use are more cumbersome, it was actually very liberating to allow myself a documentary art project using the camera in my phone,” McInnis explained.

McInnis says the project developed very organically over a period of months as he traveled between his home in St. Mary’s, Ohio and Wittenberg’s campus. “I started to notice some very interesting signage within the landscapes around us,” he said.

“The main theme concerning ‘Battleground’ is the idea of signs that allow a collective voice where we might not think of one existing,” he added. “More specifically, the signs I’ve recorded with my camera have been about local religion, politics, media and capitalism’s effect.”

McInnis decided to use “Battleground” as a fundraising opportunity for Project Woman because it allowed him to exhibit a larger number of photos on a smaller scale. Each print was about 9″x12″ and the subjects were local, within Ohio, so McInnis thought there might be more interest in purchasing by the community.

“I priced them very reasonably at either $25 or $60, to try to encourage sales to benefit Project Woman,” said McInnis.

Last year on campus, there was an important period of awareness-raising about violence against women, and McInnis wanted to contribute.

“During chapel hour, I spoke about how both my mother and grandmother had been assaulted earlier in their lives,” said McInnis. “This always left a deep impression on me. I feel we have to work as a community to make sure both men and women solve their differences without violence, and those women who do find themselves in situations involving violence have access to the help they need.”

McInnis chose Project Woman because to him, it seemed to be a relatively under-represented non-profit in the area, and he was glad to call attention to it. Laura Baxter, the director of Project Woman, was very appreciative of McInnis’s efforts.

“She informed me that Ohio was one of the worst states in the country for domestic abuse, and that (unfortunately) Clark County remains one of the counties with the highest rate of domestic abuses,” says McInnis. “Any little bit I could do to help their cause I felt would be very worthwhile.”

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