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The Ave Herald

Serving the community of Ave Maria, Florida


Ave Maria Subject of Photographic Study

leo2Thousands of pictures have been taken of the town of Ave Maria, but by the end of next month, Leopold Fiala will likely be the person who has taken the most.

Mr. Fiala, a 26-year-old graduate student studying visual arts in his native Germany, is spending a month in Ave Maria, compiling an extensive photographic dossier of the town and its people for his final academic project.

"I wanted to do my project on a planned community," Mr. Fiala told The Ave Herald in fluent English. "I researched new communities all over the world and thought Ave Maria was the most interesting."

Mr. Fiala says he is taking pictures of buildings, events, families and individuals who live in or are visiting the town. He can be seen most days, crouched behind his tripod or riding his bicycle through the town with his photographic equipment strapped to his back.

"What makes planned communities interesting," he said, "is that they so often try to appeal to an individual's idea of perfection, which is a theme of my project."

In all, he says, the project will take him a total of five months - one month shooting pictures in Ave Maria and another four months putting together his exhibition at Darmstadt University near Frankfurt, Germany. He also hopes that at least some of the pictures can be published in some form, although he says he does not intend to write any commentary about the photographs or his time in Ave Maria.

"I want the pictures to speak for themselves."



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