Brian McCarty, Toy Photographer and Executive Director of the War Toys®, a nonprofit organization that advocates for children who have been affected by war in all its forms, will present a special free preview of new art-therapy-based collaborations with Ukrainian children at the West Hollywood Library located at 625 N San Vicente Boulevard, on January 10, 2023, from 7-8:30pm. A brief interview will follow the presentation.
McCarty recently spent five-weeks in Ukraine collaborating with children to narratively recreate their firsthand accounts of the war, using locally found toys that are placed and posed at the actual locations. He worked with the Ukrainian Art Therapy Association and Integrative Art Therapy Institute to ensure the safety of the participating children and to promote resilience through the program.
Working on the War-Toys photo series since 2011, Brian has seen the severe effects of trauma and displacement on children. He assembled a team of directors, advisors, and officers that includes experts in expressive therapies, childhood development, human rights, and toy design & manufacturing. Together, they are continuing the long term advocacy work of the photo series while developing new programs and forging alliances that will positively impact the lives of children around the world.
The resulting artwork – narrative photographs of toys and the children’s drawings on which they’re based – will be featured in an exhibition opening at the Musée de la Photographie in Charleroi, Belgium on January 28th, 2023 and then in a US touring exhibition being developed by the Mid-America Art Alliance for launch in Fall 2023.
War Toys is a California-based 501(c)(3) organization founded by Brian McCarty in 2019 after nearly a decade of fieldwork with war-affected children from Iraq, Syria, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Lebanon. With a board that includes veterans of Mattel, Sesame Workshop, Disney, Warner Bros. Games, and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, they are continuing the advocacy work of the photo series while developing educational and toy industry programs that will have a global reach.
This project is supported in part by an arts grant from the City of West Hollywood.