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Dale Niles
Dale Niles
Dale Niles

Dale Niles

Country: United States

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Niles' formative years were spent with her family living in small, southern towns in Virginia and North Carolina. Inspired by the heritage of these locales, neighbors, and friends, she developed deep-seated southern roots that richly inform her photography practice with visual storytelling. Niles celebrates the diverseness of the human spirit, appreciating those qualities that make us delightfully unique, yet connected in many ways, particularly through shared experiences and preserved visual memories.

Niles majored in sociology at Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina. While exploring opportunities in her chosen field, she pursued her artistic interests, ultimately discovering that photography was her passion. The medium offers Niles a wide berth of options for technique, subject matter, and her creative process. Exhibitions include group and solo installations across the United States, Canada, Paris, France, and Venice, Italy. Her prints are held in many private collections as well the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. A selection of her work is currently exhibited at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida. She was selected for Photolucida's Critical Mass Top 200, Ones to Watch , the Fence, an exhibition at Hartsfield International Airport, and she won the Virginia Twinam Purchase Award.

Featured publications include: Light and Shadow Magazine, SouthxSoutheast Magazine, Shots, Lenscratch, The HAND Magazine, and Oxford American.

Her book, What Lies With: the Eclectic Collections of Andrea Noel received recognition from Elizabeth Avedon as best photography book of 2021.

What We Keep
The passing of a loved one is a life moment everyone is forced to face and walk through in their own way. A person dies and items of their existence remain. This process is often emotionally and physically overwhelming and taxing. There may be cumbersome items as well as very minuscule things. Some may even have an element of an obscure nature like a set of false teeth.

How and what do we choose to keep?

Do we keep something as a way to hold on to the person that left us?

Is there an emotion that is triggered just by seeing or touching it?

Is it valuable or something trivial that has an attached memory that only we can relate to?

Does something remind us of the home we once knew that no longer exists? A homesickness feeling may be eased by its presence?

Is there a guilt or regret in letting things go or a feeling of obligation?

Do we hope that we can pass on these obtained pieces of our heritage as a bridge from past to present to preserve family legacy to those who follow?Is it a way to not only say that your loved one existed but that you too existed as well?

People say 'these are just things' and yes they are but a person you loved put meaning to them.

I am not one to judge or help in this matter as I kept the teeth.
 

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More Great Photographers To Discover

Jérôme Sessini
Canon Ambassador Jérôme Sessini is a Magnum photographer who has covered some of the most significant events of the past 20 years. He also takes on long-term projects, studying the drug cartel wars on the Mexican/US border, the crisis in Ukraine and America's ongoing battle with opioid addiction. Through his lens, Jérôme has shot political upheaval, social rebellion and human struggle. His move to reportage came in 1998 when he was asked by the Gamma photo agency to cover the conflict in Kosovo. He's since been immersed in some of the most significant events of recent years, including the Iraq War, the fall of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, the seizure of Somalian capital Mogadishu by Islamic militias, the war in Lebanon in 2006 and the ongoing conflict in Syria. His photographs have one common thread – they seek to dig below the news to capture scenes representing wider issues. Born in Vosges, France in 1968, Jérôme was inspired by the works of the great American street documentary photographers Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander and, in particular, Mark Cohen. He came to photography late, at the age of 23, and is now a leading photojournalist in his own right, joining Magnum in 2012 and becoming a full member in 2016. Photographing the victims of war has long been a driving force for Jérôme. "Ever since I was a kid, I've been interested in images, and when I was a teenager I also became fascinated by history," he explains. "Plus, I remember sitting with my parents and watching the wars of the time on the news. So photography seemed like the best way for me to be an artist on the one hand and a journalist on the other." As well as his 'day job', Jérôme photographs people around his hometown in eastern France, shifting between their daily lives and the landscapes around them. He also takes part in longer-term projects, such as his So far from God, too close to the USA series, which focused on the impact of violence from the war between drug cartels in Mexico. Sessini reveals that although each visit to a conflict zone has been challenging – with the time he spent in Syria in 2012 being particularly notable for how tough it was, both emotionally and in terms of danger – it has been the stories that he has followed in Mexico that have been most emotionally involving. So far from God, too close to the USA received a number of awards and was published in a book, The Wrong Side, in 2012. Since 2014, Jérôme Sessini has been regularly covering the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Jérôme's work has also been published in distinguished publications such as Time, De Standaard, Le Monde and Stern, and he has exhibited at the Visa pour l'Image International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan, France, at the Rencontres d'Arles festival, and the French Ministry of Culture. His photographs are more than photojournalism, as he is keen to point out: "I don't like rigid categories. Sometimes there is art in journalism and journalism in art. Conscience, heart, beauty, balance and loss of balance are essentials for me." Jérôme Sessini has also been nominated for a number of prestigious awards throughout his career, including the news category of the Visa d'Or awards for his work on Libya. His coverage of the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was taken out of the sky by a surface-to-air missile over the Ukraine in July 2014, saw him receive honours at the World Press Photo Awards 2015 (first prize, Spot News, Stories) and The Olivier Rebbot Award from the Overseas Press Club of America. Remarkably, Jérôme also won second prize in the same category at the World Press Photo Awards 2015 for his harrowing Final Fight for Maidan image. Sessini believes in the strength of photographs more than video when it comes to pricking the conscience of people, and he has led workshops designed to help a new generation of photographers to develop their own visual language for documentary and social photography.Source: Canon Europe Jérôme Sessini is one the world’s most prolific and respected names working in the sensitive field of conflict zones and has been dispatched to war-torn countries like Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Libya for international publications. As well as reporting on the frontlines, he has covered social issues such as the drug-related violence on the streets of Mexico, the anti-government protests in Ukraine and indigenous minorities in Cambodia facing forced eviction. Through his work, he is constantly learning, adapting and evolving. Since 2018, Sessini has been documenting the opioid crisis in the United States, where he has travelled to Ohio and Philadelphia to create intimate portraits of the people and places ravages by drug misuse. In 2017, Sessini travelled to remote villages in Cambodia with Samrith Vaing, documenting the life of indigenous minorities facing forced eviction. In 2016, Sessini documented the Kurdish Peshmerga offensive against Islamic State (IS) in the city of Bashiq before crossing the region to cover Iraqi forces pushing towards Mosul. His work has been published by prestigious newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, Stern, Paris-Match as well as Le Monde and the Wall Street Journal. It has been shown in multiple solo exhibitions around the world including the Visa Photo Festival in Perpignan, at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Bibliothèque Nationale François-Mitterrand, as well as with the French Ministry of Culture. Sessini become Magnum Photos nominee in 2012 and a full member in 2016.Source: Magnum Photos
Anne Helene Gjelstad
Anne Helene Gjelstad is an award-winning photographer and educator. After graduation from the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in 1982 she had her own fashion studio in Oslo for 25 years. Among her clients were HM Queen Sonja, Norwegian artists, magazines and the textile industry. In 2006 she felt the need for a change and decided to follow her childhood dream and become a photographer. She took the two-year class in photography at Bilder Nordic School of Photography (2007-08) as well a numerous workshops by some of the leading photographers of our time such as Joyce Tenneson, Mary Ellen Mark, Greg Gorman and Vee Speers. Anne Helene's works has been has been exhibited worldwide; in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, in Centro Fotografico Alvarez Bravo in Mexico, in Ljubljana in Slovenia, around Estonia including the Lobby in the Estonian Parliament in Tallinn and in the National Museum in Tartu as well as in The House of Photography in Oslo. Anne Helene Gjelstad has her photo studio in an old barn surrounded by beautiful landscape just outside of Oslo. She also gives lectures and teaches portrait photography and postproduction. For her portraits, she is rewarded numerous awards. Statement For eleven years, since 2008, I have worked on portraying the lives of the older women on the small Estonian islands of Kihnu and Manija in the Baltic Sea. Colourful, interesting and friendly, they represent a culture and a way of life that is changing despite the strong anchor of tradition. These robust women are used to working hard, and take care of almost everything. They bring up the children, make the clothes, plough the fields, drive the tractors and take care of the animals. The men spend much time away from home, fishing or working on the mainland or abroad. Life is often hard. This is normal here. Nobody asks questions. You do what you must. This is how you get a big heart and strong hands. The voices of these hushed culture bearers need to be heard and kept for generations to come in a small society that is rapidly changing towards western standards, and where the traditional culture and identity is naturally slipping away. I have aimed to tell the women's stories truthfully and I have photographed their daily lives and activities, clothing and bedrooms, kitchens and farmhouses, the details, the surroundings and landscapes as well as the ceremony held in a deceased person's kitchen only three hours after she had passed away. To tell the fuller story, I have also interviewed some of the women about their lives, their experiences during war and occupation, family life, work, food and thoughts about the future. My book is my contribution to record and help preserve this unique culture for the future and give these old, wise women the voice they deserve as the quiet nation builders they really are.
Erberto Zani
Erberto Zani (Parma, Italy, 1978) is a journalist and documentary photographer who specializes in human rights issues. Graduate at school of applied Arts Paolo Toschi in graphic design, after the studies in History of Art at University of Parma he worked as a photographer in advertisement sector (1998-2004). Journalist and photographer for the newspaper Gazzetta di Parma (2004-2007) and editor in chief for some local magazines, he becomes freelance in 2008. During these years he documented the destruction created by the earthquake in Haiti, the climate crises in Sahel, the Maha Kumbh Mela in India, the daily life inside the ship breaking yards in Bangladesh, the exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar, the refugee camps in Lebanon, Greece and Uganda, the effects of the war in Marawi city / Philippines. Actually, Zani is working on two long term documentary projects, both around the world: Dark World, about the illegal mineral's extraction, and Survivors, about acid attack victims. Awarded in several international contests, his images are published on several books and dozens of international magazines. He lives in Basel, Switzerland. Books Urban Visions (ed. Blurb, 2021), Elemental Fashion (ed. Blurb,2019), Exodus (ed. Blurb, 2018), Kied Pologo (ed. Stamperia, 2017), Aftermath (ed. Stamperia, 2016), Black World (ed. Stamperia, 2015), Maha Kumbh Mela (ed. Stamperia, 2014), Tsiry (ed. Stamperia, 2014), Babanagar-Colombia (ed. Stamperia, 2013), Sahel (ed. Stamperia, 2012), Hope (ed. Stamperia, 2011), Haiti, fragments (ed. Stamperia, 2010), Drops of Life (ed. Stamperia, 2010), Da Borgo San Donnino al Passo della Cisa (ed. Publiprint, 2006). Publications WHO (World Health Organization), UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization), USAID (United States Agency for International Development), AMURT Global Network, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Development Gateway, Id21 (Institute of Development Studies University of Sussex), Planeta Salud, ICF Macro, GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit), UNIPID (Finnish University Partnership for International Development), March (Maternal Reproductive & Child Health), The Appalachian Voice, AIP (Journal of Chemical Physics), Gazzetta di Parma, L'Informazione di Parma, Diario, Africa, Nigrizia, Popoli, Redattore Sociale, Repubblica.it, Treatment Action Campaign, CORE Group, Solidarietà e Cooperazione CIPSI, Witness Journal, Tsiry Parma Onlus, E gli Altri? Onlus, Solidarietà Muungano Onlus, Dodho Magazine, Phosmag, Terra Nuova, L'Espresso, Rex Shutterstock agency, Associated Press agency, Fotodom agency, Sipa agency, Scanpix agency, Puzzlepix agency, Le Journal du Dimanche, DeStandaard, Enough Project, Life Force Magazine, LesEchos.fr, vdi-nachtrichten.com, 20 minutes.fr, stimmenafrikas.de, wisdom wander.pl, Loveless, Illume Oy, Global Witness, QCode magazine, Street Art United States, Art Works Projects, Libéma Fun Factory, TheJournal.ie, MSN.com, Fotopolis.com, Mymodernmet.com, Traveller24.com, The Telegraph, Metro.se, All About Photo, Click Magazine, Musagetes Foundation, Vogue Italia, Alamy.com, DeAbyDay, Rai3 Tg3 Mondo, FotoNostrum, Camilo Egas Museum - MuNa, DocuMagazine, Korper magazine. Awards All About Photo: 2nd place Portrait, 2021 Art Limited: 3rd place in Reportage & Press Awards, 2021 Umbra International Photography Awards: Main category "People" winner, 2020 Smithsonian Photo Contest: Finalist, 2020 Art Limited Awards: 1st place in Reportage & Press Awards 2019 Chromatic Photography Awards: 1st place in Wildlife / Animal and 2nd place in Portrait, 2019 PX3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris: 1st place in Advertising / Book cover and 1st place in Book / People categories, 2019 Moscow Photography Awards: Gold medal in "Book / People" category , 2018 Monochrome Photography Awards: 1st and 2nd place, category "Photojournalism", 2017 IPA - International Photography Awards: 2nd place, category Book Documentary, 2016 PX3 - Prix de la Photographie Paris: Gold medal in Professional Book Documentary and Bronze medal in Professional Book People category, 2016 Exhibitions 2021 Town Hall, Möhlin, Switzerland (30/04 - 30/06) 2020 Museo Camilo Egas - MuNa, Quito, Ecuador, 16/10 - 05/12 2019 MIPA - Malta International Photo Award exhibition, Malta Postal Museum 16/02 - 16/03 (Valletta, Malta) 2018 ImagOrbetello Festival, Sale di Piazza del Popolo, 25/08 - 08/09 Orbetello (Italy), 2018 PX3 - Paris Photography Prize winner’s exhibition at the Espace Beaurepaire (Paris, 10-14 July) 2017 ImagOrbetello Festival, Sala Imago, Piazza del Popolo, Orbetello (Italy) 2017 "Black World" book at Image Text Ithaca Symposium, Ithaca College Campus (June 30th)2017 "Black World" book at Reading room at MAGNUM Foundation, New York City (June 17th) 2017 "Black World" book at Carnegie Museum of Art, PGH Photo Fair, Pittsburgh (29-30 April) 2016 Photo "Finding coltan" for permanent collection at The Design Museum, Londo, UK 2014 IPA Best of Show, Thonglor - Roof top gallery, Bangkok, Thailand 2009 "Sguardi a Sud-Est", Sorbolo (PR, Italy) Centro Civico 2007 "Sguardi a Sud-Est", Fidenza (PR, Italy) Palazzo Orsoline. Websites www.erbertozani.com @zanierberto erberto.zani ZaniErberto
Philip Metcalf
United States
Philip Metcalf was born in the Finger Lakes area of central New York State. He is a photographer who focuses mainly on the landscape, shooting in black & white infrared. The Fire Ghosts portfolio explores the devastation and unexpected beauty caused by the 2011 Las Conchas forest fire in New Mexico. In 2013, a photo from this portfolio was selected for the Art of Photography show, curated by Julia Dolan, the Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum and hung in the San Diego Art Institute. Also in 2013, he was a Nominee in the Black & White Spider Awards. In 2014, another photo from the portfolio was selected for the cover of Black & White Magazine (issue # 104). A graduate of Princeton University, Philip and his wife, photographer Patricia Galagan, live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Interview with Philip Metcalf AAP: Where did you study photography? With Whom? Two most important teachers were Charles Harbutt and Kate Carter back in the 1970’s. Harbutt’s class at The Maine Photo Workshops was ostensibly about the camera, but the real message was the difference between how your eye sees the world vs how a camera sees the world. Like many young photographers, I started with a couple of camera bodies and several lens. Accordingly, much of one’s time and attention was spent on thinking about equipment combinations. In Ireland with Kate, I was bemoaning the lack of great results. Kate said something was elegantly simple and utterly true: “Remember, it’s all about the light.” That afternoon I went shooting with one body and one lens, a practice that I have followed ever since. AAP: What or who inspires you? Nature, especially the wide-open spaces of the Western United States. When I lived on the East Coast, I asked a friend visiting from the West what he thought of the Eastern part of the US. He said it was fine except that he couldn’t see anything. I never really understood what he meant until moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The vast expanses of the West with their unobstructed views for miles and miles are a very different experience than the more circumscribed views of the East. AAP: How could you describe your style? Based on nature and the real world, but slightly abstracted. AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? My Fire Ghosts portfolio.
Guido Klumpe
Germany
1971
Guido Klumpe was born in 1971 in Germany. He's been taking photographs since he was sixteen years old. After graduating from high school, he traveled through Southeast Asia. From then on he was infected by street photography, without knowing that this genre even existed. He discovered the magic of the decisive moment. After his studies in social work, other art forms became interesting for him. He danced and acted in theatre. But in 2016 he rediscovered his passion for street photography. Since then, there is not a day when he is not involved in (street) photography. He is almost blind since birth on the left and have 25% vision on the right because the optic nerves don't pass on as much information to the brain. You can imagine it like an internet video with a low data rate. Through photography he go to and beyond the limits of his vision. Guido Klumpe won several awards, among others at the Paris Street Photography award, the German Streetfotografie Festival and the Minimalist Photography award. His work has been published in various international online and print magazines. My work combines three genres that influence each other: street photography, minimal photography and abstract photography. I see my city as an urban landscape. A landscape made up of shapes, colors, reflections and light. I can dissolve and reassemble these elements, limited only by the laws of optics, the possibilities of the camera and my imagination. The overarching theme is the tension between urban architecture and its inhabitants. In my ongoing series 'Loosing one dimension' I playfully explore the fragile moment of transition where three-dimensional architecture dissolves and abstracts into the two-dimensional. When the viewer loses orientation and can't tell for sure what they see, which parts of the image are in front, and which are behind, they experience a bit of how I sometimes lose my bearings in the world. To achieve this effect, I photographically superimpose different parts of the building. I often find my motifs on arterial roads, industrial areas or suburbs.
Arno Rafael Minkkinen
Arno Rafael Minkkinen is a Finnish-American photographer who works in the United States. Published and exhibited worldwide, Minkkinen's work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Finnish Museum of Photography. Seven solo monographs on his work have been published: Frostbite (1978), Waterline (1994, winner of the 25th Rencontres d'Arles Book Prize), Body Land (1999), SAGA: The Journey of Arno Rafael Minkkinen, 35 Years of Photographs (2005), Homework: The Finnish Photographs (2008), Swimming in the Air (2009), and Balanced Equation (2010). The retrospective survey SAGA premiered at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, in 2005. The 120-print retrospective toured to Romania, Slovakia, Finland, Italy, China, and Canada. Minkkinen was made a Knight of the Order of the Lion of Finland of the first class by the Finnish government in 1992, and awarded the Finnish State Art Prize in Photography in 2006. Minkkinen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1945 and emigrated to the United States in 1951. He graduated from Wagner College with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and began taking self-portraits in 1971, while working as an advertising copywriter on Madison Avenue in New York. He later studied with Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at Rhode Island School of Design and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in photography in 1974. Over the past four decades, Minkkinen has been engaged as a teacher, curator, and writer while continuing to devote his photographic research and energies to the self-portrait. Minkkinen is a Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and also serves as lecturer at Aalto University of Art & Design Helsinki. Earlier in his teaching career, he served as Assistant Professor at M.I.T., Visiting Artist at Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts (Philadelphia)), the École d'Arts Appliqués in Vevey, Switzerland, and as graduate faculty at Maine Media College in Rockport, Maine. Since joining UMass Lowell in 1987, Minkkinen has taken students to Finland and Russia (1988), and Czechoslovakia (1989). In 1996, in a collaborative UMass Lowell/Lahti Institute of Design (Lahti, Finland) exchange program called Spirit Level, thirty Finnish, American, and Swiss students toured through Finland, Russia, and Eastern Europe for three weeks with Minkkinen and photo department head at Lahti, Timo Laaksonen. Among the students at the time was Mark Eshbaugh who later became an adjunct professor at UMass Lowell. Seven years after the first Spirit Level, together with Timo Laaksonen and Mark Eshbaugh a professor at Umass Lowell at that time, Tuscany in Italy (2003) and Oaxaca, Mexico (2007) were added to the program. [9] Later Minkinnen organized collaborations with Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland and the Foundation Studio Marangoni in Florence, Italy (2010) as well as the Bilder Nordic School of Photography in Oslo and the École Supérieure d'Arts & Medias de Caen/Cherbourg in France (2012) for an American Road Trip to the studio farmlands of American photographer Sally Mann.[10][11] The first three workshops resulted in the publication of a book commemorating those first three experiences. Minkkinen has taught workshops worldwide, particularly at the Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops), Maine Media College (as part of the graduate faculty), the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, Anderson Ranch in Colorado, Santa Fe Workshops in New Mexico, the Friends of Photography in Carmel, California, and in Europe at the Rencontres d'Arles in Arles, France, the Toscana Photographic Workshops in Tuscany, Italy, as well as workshop programs in Finland, Norway, Luxembourg, and China. Minkkinen served a second four-year term as national board member of the Society of Photographic Education (2008 to 2016). Since 2009, Minkkinen has developed a growing interest in feature filmmaking and screenwriting. In 2010, he received a first-round of support from the Finnish Film Foundation for a screenplay he had written and will be directing. It will be shot in Finnish Karelia and Finntown, Brooklyn. The demo preview of The Rain House was screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in connection with the Dance Films Association's 41st Dance on Camera Festival (2013).Source: Wikipedia Finnish-American photographer Arno Rafael Minkkinen has been capturing self-portraits of his nude body in natural surroundings for the better part of five decades. More than just existing in these scenic locations, Minkkinen fully merges his limbs and torso like a chameleon, blurring the lines between where the world ends and his body begins. The methods used to create these bold and uninhibited shots pre-date the use of Photoshop by decades, instead of relying on a simple 9-second shutter release that allows Minkkinen to quickly pose for each shot. He usually works completely alone, and won’t let anyone else look through his camera’s viewfinder, lest they instead be labeled ‘the photographer.’ What may appear as a simply composed photo with fortuitous timing, is often the result of Minkkinen taking dangerous risks as he submerges himself in strong currents, buries himself in ice, or balances precariously on the edge of a cliff.Source: Colossal
Jacque Rupp
United States
Jacque Rupp is a humanist photographer residing in Silicon Valley. She picked up her first camera, a Rollei, in her teens, and immediately fell in love with the entire process- but especially how the camera connected her to others. Because she moved extensively as a child, Jacque learned quickly how to walk into new situations and build trust with people. She draws on these early experiences when creating a rapport with her photographic subjects. Jacque was an executive in the technology industry, responsible for recruiting top talent for many years. Interviewing and learning about people's stories fits directly into her style of photography. Jacque goes deep, looking to capture the human spirit by using layers, complexity, and emotion in her work. She received her MBA from Santa Clara University. She is on the Advisory Board for the United Nations Affiliated Film Festival at Stanford University and for the Weston Collective in Carmel. She has exhibited at the Center for Photographic Arts in Carmel, Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, The Daily Photograph and numerous on-line venues. Statement It's always about the people. Curiosity and connection. It's very personal for me. I'm drawn by intensity, intimacy and authenticity in my subjects. I am curious about different cultures, here and abroad, and search for stories about everyday people in everyday life. I look for a face that is lived in, a spirit I can connect with, a truth that is shared and a story to tell. I am seeking a sense of identity and place. When I engage with my subjects, this moment shared between us is an honor. In my photographs, I strive to show the humanity and universal spirit that binds all of us together. Spirit of India India, and especially its religious spirit, has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was during a very vulnerable time in my life, my husband was terminally ill, and I found the calming spirit to be very healing. These images are a collection of my favorites over years. I love the spirit, the orderly chaos and the warmth of its people. As a visual artist, I see and very much appreciate the theatre and cast of characters.
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