Sunday, May 4, 2008

Italy, Through the Eyes of Love, Exhibit is On!

The exhibit continues until July 31 at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center in Tuckahoe, New York.

Click here for directions:

Public viewing hours during May and June:

Tuesdays: 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Wednesdays: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, except 6/11
Thursdays: 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

In July, by appointment only.

Admission: Free

This article also appears on our Italian Journal page.

Well, ready or not, the big day arrived! Luckily, we were mostly ready. Jefferson & I went up to Tuckahoe early to finish hanging the exhibit. We finished just in time for me to start training the docents at the Center who will take people through the exhibit on a daily basis when I’m not there. The docents take their responsibilities very seriously and asked me thought-provoking questions about the stories behind specific images and my approach to photography in general. I know my photos will be in good hands with them.

By the time the session was over, it was time to get dressed for the opening. Just before 6:00 o’clock, the first groups started coming in. It was a stream that continued for 2 hours. I managed to meet most of them, and it was wonderful to answer their questions and hear their stories about what Italy means to them. Many of them were of Italian descent, but not all. You don’t have to be Italian to love Italy!

Some of the people I spoke with were born and raised in Italy. They shared their childhood memories of large, close families, heavenly aromas from the kitchen and picking grapes from their grandparent’s vineyard. Some were veteran travelers who spoke of Italian vacations that turned into the best moments of their lives. Some focused on the people with whom they had traveled, long passed away but alive forever in heart and memory. To me, this is the true alchemy of Italy, turning strangers into friends.

(Click on the player above to view Jefferson's slideshow. This video introduction is displayed on a large flat screen TV in the atrium between the two Exhibit rooms.)