I was really excited when Michael Ciavolino asked me to speak at the Long Branch Rotary Club’s weekly lunch at Rooney’s. I was brought into his office by Patty Booth after she spent time in front of my lens and became #16 of the 100 Women of Long Branch. It all seemed natural. The project Shine had begun to take on it’s own momentum.
When someone asks about the community installation Shine :100 Women of Long Branch, opening November 3, 2016 at the Long Branch Public Library, I don’t have to say too much, the buzz is out there. When I spoke to Mike C in September 2015, I was still unclear as to how and what I could possibly say about the show except the bare bones.
Fast forward six months to me at the rotary’s podium and there was so much to share. The project “Shine” had grown exponentially since my first meeting with Mike. Through these photographs a community dialogue has already begun between citizens, merchants and employees of our city by the sea. To date I have recorded 29 women, in order to complete my 100 I must create 4 portraits a week by Labor day. Then we begin work on the brochure that will introduce each women in her own words.
The phenomena “Shine” is setting the stage for a city wide networking event like none other. The social power of a photographic project of this nature is bigger than I first anticipated. The results confirm that photography is a medium that can create social change, My intention is to collect images of a racially mixed, religious and economically diverse culture and create a event that will make our community closer and more aware of its strength and potential.
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