I finished the last portrait of the I Am More: Massachusetts series this morning. I hope it explains what the last two and a half years have meant to me:Continue reading
Last week we had a first. We hung the original I Am More portraits on pristine virgin walls, so fresh that the painter was still working in the vicinity and maybe watching us a little warily. We were in the brand-new wing of North Shore Medical Center in Salem, MA.Continue reading
In March of 2018 I walked through the snowy woods of southwestern Massachusetts with a complete stranger, Ryan. That walk, and our conversation, became the first portrait of I Am More: Massachusetts. This series of twenty portraits and essays from Gloucester, Newburyport, Wenham, Lynn, Mattapan, Reading, Burlington, Littleton, Mashpee, Westborough, Worcester, Lawrence, Feeding Hills, Amherst, Peabody and Leverett evolved from the original I Am More series of mostly local friends and acquaintances who shared with me, and you, how they were more than their mental illness, health diagnosis, physical disability and life situation. Continue reading
For the month of August the original I Am More portraits have found a home at Acton Memorial Library, which is very special for our family since it was our library for fifteen years. And they’re not tucked away in a back corner or room, they’re right in the middle of everything:Continue reading
This morning Iain and I took down the Sawyer Free Library I Am More display here in Gloucester, and we couldn’t make a single trip to the car without library patrons stopping to tell us how much the exhibit impacted them. It’s good to get out of the house every now and then! I spent some time when I got home reading the guestbook, which is not something we’ve had available since the opening exhibit, and I wanted to share with you, and especially the subjects, just some of the comments: Continue reading
It took me a year to find Danny. I wanted to include a teenager from Boston in I Am More: Massachusetts but I couldn’t find one. I contacted schools, organizations, friends, with no luck. Maybe I didn’t need a teen, maybe I could live without Boston in the series. Wrong and wrong. One day I was scrolling the news on our local NPR website and saw a story about a student who had written a song inspired by Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s first speech on the floor of Congress. I watched his music video on YouTube and within minutes had composed an email to him asking him if he might consider participating. A few weeks later we were on a rooftop on Boylston Street: Continue reading
During the month of July ten of the original I Am More portraits will be on display in the Matz Gallery at the Sawyer Free Library in Gloucester–my library! I am there every week picking up books, so it was an honor for the project to be chosen for a display in the gallery. Continue reading
This month the 16 original I Am More portraits are on display at SeniorCare Inc. here in Gloucester. They are an amazing non-profit who provide essential services to seniors on the North Shore from home care to Meals on Wheels, protective services, and even pet services. Many of their staff attended the Rockport reception at the Police Department and immediately asked if there would be an opportunity to display the exhibit at their facility. Well, they were in luck since June was the only available month for the foreseeable future. The next DAY we had an exhibit planned and they have been extremely enthusiastic and supportive.
I Am More portrait subject Anita Pandolfe Ruchman will be speaking about her experiences tomorrow evening, Wednesday May 29th:
I have seen Anita in a musical, live-storytelling, and presenting her photography, and it is always compelling and rewarding. See you there.