There was a mahogany mid-century credenza in my paternal grandmother’s home. It rested in the middle of the living room like a heart, giving the room its life. This centerpiece was used to house keepsakes in the two side cabinets. Inside the cabinet on the left was my first destination on every visit. I can still remember how it felt when the magnetic hinge of the door released to reveal its treasure; The family photo albums from the old country and in the new world. I would gaze at every photo in each album, trying to live inside the moments captured on a picnic, at a wedding, a first bath, a vacation, or a graduation. I would lose myself in the catalogs for hours. Atop the surface of the credenza was a white doily tablecloth showcasing 2 significant 8x10 framed portraits. The photo of my grandparents and a black and white photo of my father (their only child) at his middle school graduation — sat opposite. And a place of honor was kept on the wall for the studio portrait of myself and my two brothers that was only ever moved to be dusted. We were the jewels of her heart. Today, I hold my childrens’ hands as we approach it now hanging in the entryway of my father’s home and I step back into the love she gave to me. I am again small, seated next to the credenza and in touch with everything my family was and is.
Portraits are how we have celebrated ourselves for millenia. We want to tell a story to our future selves and future generations.
I have been an artist my entire adult life. My explorations made it clear my calling is to help individuals and families create portraits that will become the markings of their stories for generations to follow.