ShareThis Page

Sewickley Academy photography exhibit punctuates basic need

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Sewickley Academy Senior Rupali Goel photographed the fountain at the point in Pittsburgh.
Sewickley Academy Senior Rupali Goel photographed the fountain at the point in Pittsburgh.

A Sewickley Academy senior is using her passion for photography to help people sustain a basic need in impoverished countries.

Rupali Goel of Upper St. Clair, and an academy student since seventh grade, is working with a Pittsburgh-based photographer to create an exhibit of photos surrounding the theme of water.

A gallery event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on June 5 in Sewickley Academy's Campbell Gallery, outside of Rea Auditorium. There is no charge for admission, but donations will be collected and framed art will be sold for Goel's charity, The Water Project Inc. In addition, anyone making a donation of $10 will receive a print of one of the photos on exhibit. Light refreshments will be provided.

“People always want to donate iPads and technology to struggling countries, but without basic needs — like water — what good do those things do them? That's why I wanted to help The Water Project,” Goel said.

The Water Project Inc. is a nonprofit organization that provides means to secure sustainable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa that lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

“I decided to get involved with The Water Project and ultimately make the theme of my gallery centered around water because water is essential for any type of progress to be made in Third World countries. It is ultimately the most important thing we can provide people with because education means nothing if people do not have access to this basic necessity.

“It is something we take for granted in America and are not aware of the water scarcity around the world,” said Goel, 18.

She added that while she was researching for her project, the statistics pointing to the number of people around the world without clean water access “shocked” her.

“I read that 443 million school days are lost each year due to water-related diseases,” she said.

Goel was familiar with the work of photographer Farha Ali, who had done senior portraits for some of her friends at school and developed a following for her photographic work while a student at the University of Pittsburgh. Ali graduated from Pitt in 2013 and works as a freelance photographer, covering weddings, personal photo shoots and cityscapes. She's earning money through her art to attend medical school, and currently works at UPMC Presbyterian.

Goel, who fell in love with photography in ninth grade, taught herself digital photography and became editor of her school newspaper, hoped to learn new skills through working with Ali.

Ali said when Goel reached out to her about the project, she was excited for the chance to do it.

“We went out together in Pittsburgh looking for ideas and a theme for the gallery, and it seemed natural. We had a great time working on it together, and it's such a good cause,” Ali said.

Ali said she is happy to help Goel hone her photography skills while raising money to help The Water Project, which teaches people to dig wells, catch rain and protect fresh-water sources.

At least half of the dozens of photos on exhibit during the event will be Goel's.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.