Photographer John Romano’s “Akora” series, is on display throughout August 2015 at Equator Coffees & Teas at 2 Miller Ave. through Aug. 2015. Courtesy image.

Picture“Halima,” part of photographer John Romano’s “Akora” series, is on display throughout August 2015 at the Equator Coffees & Teas at 2 Miller Avenue, through August 2015. Courtesy image.

From his mid-1990s Peace Corps stint in the Muslim farming communities in southern Kyrgyzstan to his eight-year residence in Israel, Marin native John Romano has some deep, far-reaching experiences from which to draw inspiration.
Few have touched him more deeply than his recent trek to Niger with Mercy Corps, the American aid agency that seeks to help communities regroup after natural disaster, economic collapse, or conflict. That work, the “Akora” series, will be on display at Equator Coffees & Teas (2 Miller Avenue) at the Mill Valley Arts Commission’s First Tuesday Artwalk on August 4, 6–8pm.
Romano, who grew up in both Kent Woodlands and Mill Valley and currently lives in Lovell Canyon, joined MercyCorp on a trip to the small village of Akora in western Niger. Near the end of a Mercy Corps project focused on outreach and development, specifically helping residents to learn more about food management, the organization hosted a community meeting to allow residents to share what they’d learned.
That meeting was the genesis of Romano’s “Akora” series.
“I was just floored by the beauty of the people and the congregation and the light – everything was just magical,” Romano says.
A regular at Equator since they opened in November 2014, Romano got to know co-owner Helen Russell and several Equator employees, many of whom are also artists. They eventually asked him to show his work at the downtown community coffee hub.
“I’m really excited about this,” Romano says.
The First Tuesday Artwalk, Mill Valley’s monthly celebration of local art features a host of venues, including the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Seager Gray Gallery, the Mill Valley Public Library, Zener Schon Contemporary Art, Julie Tuton Boutique, the Depot Bookstore & Café, City Hall, Famous4, the Mill Valley Community Center and the Throckmorton Theatre. Receptions at each venue are Tuesday from 6–8pm. First Tuesday Artwalk Guide with venues and a map.
The 411: John Romano’s “Akora” photo series is on display at the Equator Coffees & Teas (2 Miller Avenue) for the First Tuesday Artwalk on August 4, 6–8pm.

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