It was over three years in the making, but this week we were finally able to share I Am More: Massachusetts at the Massachusetts State House for the fifth and final regional exhibit of the state series of portraits and essays, thanks to the legislative sponsorship of Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. On Tuesday we were joined by legislators, portrait subjects and guests to celebrate the project. Below are some photos from the day and the speech by Senator Tarr for those who couldn’t be there. We’re grateful for the opportunity and the honor.
It’s good to be here as we commemorate the introduction of this incredible exhibit that Amy has produced in this very special building. It is one of the most iconic government buildings in the United States of America.
Amy, we all owe you a debt of gratitude for rising up and acknowledging the humanity of those who deal with adversity, and we almost all do in one way or another during our lives. You have the very special gift of rising up and saying, yes, I have dealt with adversity and I do deal with adversity, but as the title of the exhibit implies, I am so much more than that. And you remind us all in our own struggles, whatever they might be, that there’s more inside than just adversity, and we have to find it within ourselves to open our hearts and open our minds and to share those gifts with the world, because we are all stronger and better when they happen.
You have captured the essence of your subjects, and through your portraiture we understand their humanity. We look into their eyes and we see the challenges they’ve had, but we also see their courage, and their inspiration. We understand, and see in them a reflection of our own humanity, and how important it is to be able to have this exhibit here, because in this building, wherever you go, there are representations of the struggles and the sacrifices of people that have made this state great and have caused this state to be a leader in this nation. When we see those depictions we understand that humanity as well. We understand what the people who have come before us have been through. We appreciate it a little bit more by seeing a statue or a painting or a photograph.
Amy, with what you have depicted and captured here, you help every one of us to understand that every one of us can make a difference, and every one of us needs to take a moment in our lives and acknowledge there is adversity in life, there is difficulty in life, but those things should not be allowed to dominate the people that we are and the potential that we have. The ability that we have each and every day just to do something, whether it be simple or grand, to be able to make the lives of others better, and in doing so, to be a resource for our neighbors.
Right now it seems there are challenges that come down the line every single day, kinds that perhaps we never could have expected, but we know that the constant is what’s here (pointing to heart), and what’s here (pointing to head), and what’s here (holding out hands).
So the message that will be transmitted from the State House once again, with this particular exhibit, reinforces that. That we’re all important as people, we all have something to give, and we need to remember that we all struggle with things in our lives. Thank you so much for bringing this here and allowing it to be shared, and I’m so honored to be sponsoring this, with the support of my colleagues, because we all understand the critical importance of the message that you send—I am more. And because of it we will all be more. So thank you very much. – Senator Bruce Tarr
Thank you to the subjects who shared their faces and vulnerabilities, the legislators who showed their support, the donors who covered all of the costs of this portrait collection, Chris Sadkowski for making the introductions, Karen Nascembeni for throwing a lovely event, the legislative staffers and State House administration who ironed out all the details, the NAN Project for sharing important information in all of our exhibits, and Iain for always standing by my side.
Now on to the next!