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Meet the Artist: Jenni Weber Vorderman

by Alayne Johnson | Nov 21, 2017

Gravity & Grace

We are honored to be featuring the work of Jenni Weber Vorderman in her exhibit titled "Gravity and Grace." The exhibit will be on display until January 7, 2018 in the Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery at our Main Library. We sat down with the artist and talked about her inspiration, her passion for philanthropy, and her newest endeavor that will have a global impact.

“I always knew photojournalism was my calling,” said local photographer and global philanthropist Jenni Weber Vorderman.

Vorderman, 40, studied photojournalism as a college student at IPFW and always wanted to use her talents as a photographer to share stories and make a difference.

She put her ambitions to travel the world on hold while she and her husband, Steve Vorderman, raised their family. Jenni is mother to four children ages 16 to 5.

In 2013, Vorderman’s longtime friends, David and Denise DeMarchis, founded the Mighty Acorn Foundation with a mission to save children in unimaginable conditions. The foundation’s first project was building an orphanage and school in Kitale, Kenya giving endangered children a safe place to live and the opportunity for an education.

Vorderman supports Mighty Acorn by taking pictures of the children and sharing their stories with foundation supporters. She has traveled to Kenya 20 times over the last five years. One of the photos she took during her travels in Kenya of a woman praying was recognized by National Geographic and won an award from Photo District News.

Vorderman has done breathtaking work for numerous other global non-profits including, The Rhema Project helping to educate women in India and The Kenneth Cole Haiti Health Center. Her work has also bolstered many worthwhile organizations closer to home, including The Carriage House, AWS Foundation and The Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana.

“It’s about using my camera to bring attention to the injustices in the world and educate people about ways to end that injustice,” she said. “I’ve seen so many injustices and was fortunate to find a way to get involved in a very personal way.”

Her next project is launching Gravity & Grace, a socially conscious business that will market the work of artisans from developing countries and reinvest a portion of the profits back into the artisan’s community.

“From being in these communities and working with these people, they have grown comfortable enough with me to tell me what they really need,” she said.” Sometimes I think well-meaning westerners come in to help and end up imposing what they think the community wants rather than what the people truly need. They don’t want charity. They need opportunity”

The artists Vorderman has met on her travels have valuable skills, but need help marketing their goods to a global audience that has the ability to pay a fair market price.  In return, the artisans will have the resources for training and safe places to work. 

For more information about the artist or to inquire about purchasing an image, contact Jenni Vorderman at 260-341-4028.

For more information about Gravity & Grace, visit www.gravitygrace.co

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