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Shooting Beauty: Open Shutter exhibits work of adaptive photographers

Published in Durango Telegraph on February 25, 2010

Two weeks ago, Alexandre Bilodeau, the Olympic gold medalist in the moguls competition, credited his older brother Frederic, who has cerebral palsy, with being his greatest inspiration. When the camera focused on Frederic, his utter joy clearly implied the feeling is mutual.

STEVE MOSBERG/Durango Telegraph

On Feb. 25, an Adaptive Sports Association (ASA) fund-raiser is being held at the Open Shutter Gallery in conjunction with the 12th annual Dave Spencer Memorial Classic. The images taken by the Durango Photography Club portraying ASA volunteers and special-needs clients skiing and boarding at DMR is both inspired and inspirational. Lee Hager, office manager at ASA, said Photography Club members selected 15 images for the Open Shutter Show.

Margy Dudley, owner of Open Shutter and a volunteer at ASA, will feature the photos as part of the opening night reception. The top three pictures will continue to be displayed throughout March, while the remaining will move to the Art Wall at the Durango Recreation Center.

Serendipitously, the upcoming Durango Independent Film Festival is also screening an award-winning documentary on a photographer who turned her camera from fashion to people with disabilities. “Shooting Beauty – Everyone Deserves a Shot,” details the true account of Courtney Bent, a fledgling fashion photographer whose career takes a life-changing detour as she unexpectedly finds beauty in a home for people with significant disabilities. Shot over the course of a decade, the film follows Bent as she overcomes her own prejudices and works on making photography accessible to her new friends. Her efforts snowball into an award-winning photography program called “Picture This” and render an unforgettable story…

What the “Shooting Beauty” photographs all have in common is an enthusiasm for self expression. Beyond giving a glimpse into their sometime cloistered lifestyle, these photographers demonstrate an innate ability to see the world as artists. Given the chance to literally and figuratively share their personal perspectives, the results are more than intriguing; they go to the core of human dignity… The upcoming exhibit offers Durangoans a chance to be part of the inspiring stories and witness a treasure trove of award-winning art.’

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