I am super happy to announce that I have joined the Board of Directors of the Manayunk Roxborough Art Center as the Director of Programming. MRAC is an all volunteer-run artist's co-operative here in Philadelphia that helps artists make and show their work. I'll be creating and overseeing arts workshops for all ages in a range of media. The MRAC also has a very vibrant poets group that publishes annually. It is a great space for me to have landed and to participate in local community arts. We're always raising mooney so if you have some early holiday spirit, please consider donating $10 (tax deductible) to help us keep the lights on.
(photo credit: Mamta Popat)
I am happy to announce that I have officially completed graduate school. On May 15, 2015 I was hooded by one of my thesis advisors, Dr. Larry Busbea. I love this photo that my dear friend Mamta took during the ceremony. On the left is Dr. Paul Ivey and on the right Dr. Sarah J. Moore, both of whom have been fantastic instructors and have offered guidance, support, and laughter. It has been such a fantastic experience and an adventure I long desired to make. Learning is definitely my favorite addiction.
Greetings dear visitor. Sadly, this blog is so very neglected. As a full-time graudate student, the majority of my creative energy is devoted to research, papers, and thinking time. My goal is to slowly migrate my old blog to this new one, but if you are just dying to read more about my life here in Tucson, click here to be taken to my old blog.
I have wondered for several years now, how I would feel when today arrived – the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th. I pondered what my thoughts would be; where I would be and with whom. What kind of force created by sentimentality and nostalgia would occur, connecting me with emotions and events I rarely speak about – not necessarily because I dislike speaking about it, but because I enjoy listening to the experiences of others…that combined with the delicate fact that my experience is relatable to a select few of photojournalists who, like me, walked through the dust and debris that day ten years ago.
When I awoke this morning, I sat at the kitchen table sipping the cup of coffee my sweetie made for me, still wondering how I felt. I was entirely unprepared for how quickly the tears came when we started talking about the arrival of today and the significance of the anniversary.
I found myself wondering aloud to Mike about the people that I photographed that day…where they are, who they are with and how they are marking this day. Where is Daisy, who lost her sister Batilda? Where is Michelle, who lost her husband of two months who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald? Where is Karrah, possibly the most photographed woman during the days following 9.11 as she tirelessly kept every candle lit at the Union Square memorial? Where is the firefighter from Ladder 21 who lost his brother, also a firefighter? Where is the man I photographed taping two missing person’s posters up outside of Bellevue Hospital – posters of his mother AND his father? So caught in my own tears for his loss, I could not speak to him to ask him his name. Where is the single firefighter I saw rescued that day? Where are all the doctors and nurses that I met and photographed at the triage station in the Staten Island Ferry terminal, all waiting and waiting to treat the injured that never arrived.
Most of all I wonder where Sophia is. Sophia’s husband, a Port Authority police officer was killed on 9.11. She miscarried their baby due to the stress. From Latin America and without family or many friends, she was utterly alone as her parents were denied visas into the country to come help her. I met, photographed and sat and cried with Sophia as she rocked in a rocking chair in a small, dim, quiet room. Sitting and crying with her in that room was the only thing I had to give her, which a decade later still feels an inadequate gesture for the gift she gave me of trusting me to tell her story and capture her image at such a moment in her life. Did Sophia eventually return to her native country in Latin America or did she decide to stay in New York? Did she find love again? Is she a mother now? Am I sure that I want to know?
I shared with my sweetie a quote that I have carried with me for years, since the beginning of my career. I found that today I have a much deeper understanding and connection to the words.
“Sometimes the price is heartbreak. There are people you carry around in your heart for the rest of your life, and some of their stories are sad beyond tears.” - Cathy Newman, ‘Women Photographers at National Geographic’
I do carry the people I have photographed around with me. I cherish and protect them and I don’t speak of them often. Maybe because the person they were in the moment our paths crossed is so delicate. Maybe it is because of the vulnerability we experienced together that I protect that momentary version of them.
I will continue to carry these people. I will bring them with me through my life, in what may be a strange and feeble attempt to spread the heavy load we were given through the events of that day and to stay connected to others who saw what I saw, smelled what I smelled, heard what I heard.
Goodness, life gets so busy. So much so that this blog has been sorely neglected. What have I been up to, you ask? A lot!
- I took a my first “real” vacation in two years. I journeyed to Cabo San Lucas to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend of mine and fellow photographer, Mamta Popat. Check back soon for a multi-media project celebrating the trip.
- I’ve attended several workshops and symposiums for my photography profession as well as my arts educator profession. One highlight was attending the opening of Art Intersection, a new space in Gilbert, Arizona dedicated to promoting and connecting people to art. I attended a lecture entitled “Publish Your Photography Book” hosted by Darius Himes of Radius Books and Mary Virginia Swanson. Very informative and inspiring event. Plan a trip to Gilbert to check it Art Intersection. They have a lecture in April on the power of laughter. Teehee!
- I photographed the very beautiful and heartfelt wedding of two lovely people. I am thrilled with the way their wedding album turned out. I also booked a wedding for April. Yay for Love!
- I attended the opening of the exhilarating and challenging contemporary art exhibit ‘Borderlandia’ at Tucson Museum of Art. Provocative commentary on border, culture, history, gender issues. Wow! And if you are familiar with Hieronymus Bosch’s painting ‘Garden of Earthly Delights‘ you will have an especially gleeful experience.
- I was fortunate to attended a series of discussions and trainings hosted by the Arizona Commission on the Arts at a variety of locations here in Tucson, including the Poetry Center. I learned a lot, and I also reaffirmed my motivation to work to create state and or national standards for media literacy. Big plans!
I am very proud to announce that I was accepted into the Creative Capital Internet Workshop for artists. The workshop, hosted by Tucson Pima Arts Council (TPAC), is a professional development program aimed at assisting artists with business development. A total of 24 local artists were accepted in to the three-day workshop to be held at the end of March. Very exciting opportunity! I know it will be helpful as I embark on the launch of my book, HeartFound, and all the projects I have floating around my creative brain. This year is going to be so fantastic!
At this moment I have about a zillion things I should be doing to make a deadline of some sort, but I needed a visual reprieve and I ended up here…editing and posting some images I took last weekend. I have been experimenting with multi-second hand-held exposures that play with movement and push digital constrictions. Very cool stuff.