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‘Freedom’ Photography Exhibit in West Hartford Will Support Interval House

'Guarded' by Sandy Aldieri is one of the pieces that will be included in the CPPA's 'Freedom' Exhibit and fundraiser at the Golden Thread Gallery. Submitted image

The collaborative charity exhibition to support victims of domestic violence will open with a reception at the Golden Thread Gallery in West Hartford on Aug. 25, 2016.

Believe by Patty Swanson will be exhibited at the Freedom Charity Art Show. Courtesy image

Believe by Patty Swanson will be exhibited at the Freedom Charity Art Show. Courtesy image

By Ronni Newton

More than 30 photographers from throughout Connecticut, as well as some nationally-recognized photographers from throughout the country, will hold a charity exhibit at the Golden Thread Gallery in West Hartford to raise funds for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence.

'Guarded' by Sandy Aldieri is one of the pieces that will be included in the CPPA's 'Freedom' Exhibit and fundraiser at the Golden Thread Gallery. Submitted image

‘Guarded’ by Sandy Aldieri is one of the pieces that will be included in the CPPA’s ‘Freedom’ Exhibit and fundraiser at the Golden Thread Gallery. Submitted image

“Freedom,” a collaborative exhibition of fine art images by members of the Connecticut Professional Photographers Association (CTPPA), will open with a reception on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, from 6:30 – 8:30pm at the Golden Thread Gallery, 303 Tunxis Rd., West Hartford. Works will remain on display until Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, and 100 percent of all sales will benefit Interval House in Hartford, one of the 18 local member organizations under the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) umbrella.

According to event chairperson Deb Key, Interval House serves more than 7,000 clients each year through its confidential safe house, 24-hour hotline and Spanish hotline, victim advocates program in the courts, support groups, and satellite offices in Manchester. Since 1977, Interval House has made a positive difference the lives of nearly 150,000 women and children who experienced psychological and physical abuse at the hand of a domestic or intimate partner.

Resilience by Kim Bova. Courtesy image

Resilience by Kim Bova. Courtesy image

The concept of harnessing the artistic talents of organization members for a common cause was initially proposed by Key, an Avon photographer. She considered it a positive way to celebrate the “power of the print.”

“We knew most photographers are already actively engaged in their community and this is an opportunity to combine talents for a shared purpose,” Key said.

CTPPA members had the opportunity to nominate organizations as beneficiaries of the organization’s charity event by writing a compelling story about why they should be supported, and Sandy Aldieri, a Middletown-based photographer, nominated CCADV – an organization she has actively supported for years.

“In 2015 and Connecticut alone, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its membership organizations served over 41,000 victims. Countless resources are used to serve these communities and it is for this reason that the Connecticut Professional Photographers Association has adopted this cause for its 2016 charity,” Aldieri said.

“With a 100 percent increase in clients over the past seven years, longer stays requiring more complex range of services and because shelters are already stretched to over-capacity, it’s essential to help raise awareness of this situation now. CCADV offers vulnerable people a place of safety and support to help them achieve independent, constructive lives with freedom from fear,” said Aldieri.

The donated images related to the theme of “Freedom,” and organizers say that despite the seriousness of the topic of domestic abuse, most images “celebrate a sense of positive affirmation.”

Artist Laraine Weschler said her image conveys “a sense of calm, stillness … it takes you away to that place where your soul is free, where you can be in the moment, living with beauty, hope and love.”

CTPPA member and West Hartford photographer Patty Swanson has exhibited at the Golden Thread Gallery many times, and GTG co-founders Kate Wilson and Tricia Haggerty Wenz agreed to host the exhibit in their light-filled gallery at the Holy Family Retreat Center.

Download 'Live Portrait' to your smartphone for an enhanced artistic experience. Courtesy image

Download ‘Live Portrait’ to your smartphone for an enhanced artistic experience. Courtesy image

Wilson said she is particularly excited that several photographers will use “Live Portrait” – a technology offered by Bay Photo that links a photograph to a video that the photographer has created to enhance their artistic vision by making pieces come alive through a “virtual world.”

“Come prepared to experience this technology by loading the free ‘Live Portrait’ app on your smartphone and bringing headphones before your arrival,” Swanson said.

“Support for this exhibition has exceeded our expectations so you are warmly invited to enjoy these original interpretations of ‘Freedom’ and know you are helping to make a difference for people starting over,” said Key.

In addition to the live portrait demonstration, appetizers and desserts from Matthew Becker of Becker’s Catering will be provided at the opening reception, beer samplings featuring the fall flavors of Leinenkugel as well wine tastings by 90+ Cellars. Entertainment from acoustic jazz guitarist Doug Maher will also be provided.

Karen Jarmoc, Chief Executive Officer of CCADV, and Catherine Bradshaw, Interim Executive Director of Interval House will officially open the exhibition. Sarah Gallardo, a survivor, Soroptimist, and director of “Sarah Speaks Up” will read a poem about her experience making the personal, supported transition to a new life of purpose and confidence.

“I’m so very excited and honored to be asked to read my poem. The fact that my writing has touched people as it has, is truly a blessing to me,” Gallardo said in a statement.

Award-winning acclaimed photographers whose work will be exhibited along with the Connecticut photographers’ pieces include Thom Rouse, Suzette Allen, Mitch Kitter, Shalem Matthew, Peter Wright, and Nicole Begley.

Additional information can be found on the Freedom Charity Art Show Facebook event page, by emailing [email protected], or visiting the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence website, the Connecticut Professional Photographers Association website, or the Golden Thread Gallery’s website.

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