Take Another Look

Take Another Look— An Exhibit of Real Faces in the Upper Valley

Opening held at Open Door, April 1, 2016

Outside: Late evening sun moving in, rain moving out; the door is open to the Open Door studio in White River Junction. Light reflects in shallow puddles to reveal a hopeful blue sky.

Inside: Folks greet each other with warm smiles and kind eyes. Black and white portraits of moments witnessed. A generous invitation to bear witness.

Strength in Collaboration:  Take Another Look, a multigenerational, multimedia exhibit, is made possible by the effort of four organizations: Thompson Senior Center, United Valley Interfaith Project (UVIP), ReThink Health: UCRV, and CATV. The mission of our collaboration: to creatively document the unique perspectives of senior citizens living in the Upper Valley.

Three CATV youth filmmakers, Allegra Harvard, Clare Swanson, and Jack Spinella, created short films that thoughtfully engage with themes such as Medical Attention, Coping with Challenges, and The Benefits of Aging in Woodstock. All stories are told by seniors living here in the Upper Valley. These three films premiered at the April 1st exhibit and the full program can be watched on CATV.

After the screening, folks in the audience listened as Allegra, Clare, and Jack offered their perspectives. The exchange felt authentic, supportive, and brave.

Leah Torrey, executive director of UVIP, reflects on the evening at Open Door: “It was amazing to see months of work come to life in the intersection of gorgeous portraits, stories told over film, captured quotes, and the live smiles and buzzing comments of viewers. People of all ages mingled and talked about community and art. It was a unique event anchored in a rich collaboration. I am so grateful I was able to take part, and now I am looking forward even more to the next Take Another Look exhibit in July at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon.”

And Rachel DiStefano from ReThink Health: UCRV said, “My favorite part of the exhibit was having all of the people who made it possible together in the same room, honoring and celebrating the work, the people, and the stories. Within just a half-hour I was greeting one of the seniors featured in the films (I had interviewed him back in August!), catching up with a Listener, and listening to the filmmakers/ editors so eloquently share their insights about the process and the project as a whole. Sharing the exhibit with friends, family, and community members was the final special ingredient, completing the circle. For me, it was also a testament to the power of collaboration—it is one thing to learn and talk about it, and quite another to experience it firsthand. It was through this exhibit that I was able to clearly see how, in partnership, a group of organizations, each using its unique strengths and assets, is able to create something more beautiful and complex than any one of them could have created on its own.”

Special thanks to Open Door for so generously providing us with the space to share this exhibit with our community.

For more information about the Stories Project, visit the UVIP website.  

--Sophie Bodnar