It’s taken a while to find the words to express my awe & gratitude over the premiere of “Stories From the Source,” our @picturechange student gallery, & even now these scattered sentences won’t cut it.
Earlier this year someone asked me, “Where do you see Picture Change in five years? Don’t give me a list. You have one snapshot. Describe it to me.” I closed my eyes & launched myself into the future. I saw my photography students from all over the globe standing outside the United Nations in New York City. They were gathered for a group photo with many world leaders, for the students had just unveiled a gallery exhibition of their photography. They were able to present, with their own images & words, stories of their lives & communities to the influential people who had power to make a difference.
I said all this & burst into tears, because I knew this dream could come true.
Last week we premiered “Stories From the Source,” an exhibition of Picture Change student photography from 5 different countries. “If only the students could be here to see this!” resounded over & over in my head as I stood on the stairs and watched the people of Nashville filter in and out of the gallery. The images came to life and transported the viewers, allowing them to walk around in someone else’s world for a while.
Most of my students have overcome staggering odds just to survive under incredibly difficult circumstances. Now, many are professional photographers earning a living to support themselves & their families.
I’m humbled to be a part of this & to share my students’ work as they use their voice to make an impact. I’m thrilled for what is to come, that “Stories From the Source” will be displayed in other cities & this incredible, intimate, beautiful work will continue to speak to audiences in other cities and, eventually, to world leaders at the United Nations and beyond.
Thanks to those who made this experience a reality by just showing up. Thank you for donating funds to make this possible, equipment to share this photography, and the time to make it all come together.
There’s so much more to come of this work. Thank you for being part of the journey.