I Am More: Jared

Jared happened upon the I Am More exhibit earlier this year at NorthShore Mall, and after recognizing our former mayor of Gloucester, stopped to read the essays. He sent me a quick note, saying it was “quite wonderful,” and after looking him up I was embarrassed to see he was a professional portrait photographer who regularly contributes to The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. He asked if he could pitch a story to NorthShore Magazine about the project and soon enough he was in our yard taking photos of me for the April article. I noticed a black shiny object on the side of his head, and he admitted that the reason he connected so much with the exhibit was because of the struggles he had gone through with hearing loss. I immediately wanted to learn more and soon enough the tables were turned and I was in his studio hearing his story:

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Burlington Mall

On Sunday Iain and I got in our second home, the UHaul van, and traveled to South Shore Plaza to pick up the I Am More exhibit, brought it back to the Paint Factory, unloaded, re-loaded a different I Am More exhibit and drove it to Burlington Mall, where we unloaded after closing and set up a new exhibit! Then we got stuck in road construction on the way home and staggered to bed.

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South Shore Plaza

Today we recover from a 12-hour day of moving the exhibit across the state. It began at 7:30 am with the key lockbox at UHaul frozen shut. My husband had just been on an 18-day expedition in the Sea of Cortez, working from dawn to dusk on the water, flew home to a three-hour time difference PLUS Daylight Savings Time, loaded up new portraits at the Paint Factory in howling cold winds, and now we stood at a frozen lockbox.

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I Am More: Erin

When I was in my twenties I learned that hair could be donated to make wigs for children with alopecia. I didn’t know anything about the disease but it seemed like an easy enough thing to do, so I did it multiple times. If I had bothered to learn about alopecia I might have understood that a wig was not the easy bandaid I thought was. Erin taught me about the challenges and complexity of living without hair and the impacts we couldn’t even imagine:

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Western MA Regional Exhibit

Way back in 2020 the fourth of five regional exhibits of I Am More: Massachusetts was scheduled to be hosted at UMass Amherst to serve western Massachusetts, but we all know how that ended (Covid, if you don’t), so moving on. Here we are two years later and Iain and I have just installed the Western Massachusetts Regional Exhibit of I Am More: Massachusetts at…The Holyoke Mall at Ingleside!

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We’re Going on a Mall Tour!

The last I Am More exhibit before the pandemic was The Northshore Mall in Peabody, Massachusetts. It came about because I needed a location for the North Shore Regional Exhibit of I Am More: Massachusetts. It needed to be BIG with lots of PEOPLE in order to have the greatest impact, so I did what any professional event planner does and opened up Google Maps for the north shore, looked for the biggest dot on the map, and declared it the host.

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I Am More: Kate

One of our favorite places to walk the dog is the Sunset Mountain Trail in West Gloucester that ends at the Mt. Jacob Cemetery. It’s a small Jewish cemetery at the edge the woods; small enough to get to know the stones as you pass through. There is one that is different from any I had ever seen before–it’s hollow, an oval carved out of a rectangle, rough enough that you could almost believe it occurred naturally. It moves me every time I see it. When I first met with Kate to discuss her experiences as a widow, she showed me a manuscript she had written of a memoir. There were short, sweet memories of her life with “my Mitch,” and illustrations of the objects that made up her new life. As she was showing me each one she said, “Here is his gravestone,” and there was a little ink sketch of a hollow stone; an oval carved out of a rectangle. The care and significance that she put into every detail of their life together resonated with me in that cemetery before I even knew her.

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