The Resilience Project

“The Resilience Project” was an exhibit featuring 28 of my photographs as well as 10 portraits taken by students at Holmes Middle School in Annandale, Va. The exhibit was on display March 7 to April 1, 2018 at the Workhouse Arts Center’s Arches Gallery.

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of day-to-day stress, adversity, trauma, or tragedy. I believe everyone has a story, and while resilience is often associated with cataclysmic events, it is knitted through the web of everyday life.

The photos in the exhibit were connected by string and clips because resilience comes during times when you feel like life is hanging by a thread.

This kaleidoscope of 28 photos — 19 in black and white and nine in color, all on 11x14 card stock — is purposely random. (They're in alphabetical order according to title in this album.)

Taken over the past several years in multiple states, the photos tell the stories of recovery from some of our nation's worst natural disasters (the Joplin, Missouri, tornado and Hurricane Harvey in Texas) as well as dedicated artists and athletes who have been faced with obstacles while pursuing the craft they love. They also illustrate the determination of historically marginalized populations, people struggling to overcome addiction and mental illness.

Finally, because all art ultimately is personal, I included photos of my children, who've overcome challenges of their own to become terrific young adults.

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The students work was part of my Artist Residency through the Arts Council of Fairfax County. I was one of three area artists selected to teach a multiple-week unit to seventh- and eighth-graders. The focus was on visual storytelling.

You can read more about the project and my teaching experience here and here.