Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Photo at the Science Muesum of Minnesota

A few days ago I noticed something on my flickr feed that has previously escaped my notice. I was contacted by someone from the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul about using one of my photos in their upcoming exhibit, "Water."

According to the letter I received when I responded to the message,

"The Water exhibit celebrates one of the most basic necessities of human survival. Innovative presentation techniques converge with a variety of interactive activities to let visitors examine the scientific, cultural and environmental aspects of water. Visitors will explore the ways that our societies strain the planet's finite resources and have the opportunity to experience the power of water firsthand."

Running from January 30- April 26, my photo would be used as a part of the program created in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, and run in a slide-show all day for each day that the exhibit runs. There is no pay for this, but it is an honor to be asked among about 39 other photographers and Jim and I will be given a pair of tickets to enter the museum and see the exhibit and I would receive recognition through a photo credit running alongside my work. While not as much of an issue in water-plentiful MN, the scarcity of water is already impacting other areas of the United States and, in a much more dramatic sense, other areas of the world, and I am happy to be a part of making this exhibit more impactful to visitors.

According to Jim Imholte at SMM, "we’d like to add a projection of water in its various states through images taken by photographers in Minnesota." I think that this will have an impact upon MN visitors to the museum, as it will make the issue more relatable to them and allow them to think about the issue as it pertains to their own water resources here which are vital for agriculture, life and tourism of the state.

The photo that they selected was from the visit that Jim and I made to the Obon Festival at Como Park back in later August, when I was newly pregnant and exhausted, but didn't know the reason why yet. Aside from the satisfaction garnered from participating in such a worthwhile exhibit, I also feel a great deal of personal satisfaction for having my work recognized. I feel like I missed so many opportunities during this past fall. Pregnancy, in some ways, has been hard on me, although I'm thankful that my suffering has been limited to exhaustion, round ligament pain and morning sickness. I feel like I am only just now gaining back the time that I have missed, and really getting our home organized the way that I have wanted it to be, had I the energy the whole time that we have lived here.

I am also very much aware that my life will change in dramatic ways once I have firmly entered the realm of mommy-hood and the days where I can spend my time attending festivals, and going on walks simply to take photos will be limited. I know that I am good at things, like writing, being a wife, cooking, photography, making our apartment a home, but I never have felt like I am great at very many things. It feels very vindicating to have one of the few photos I took and one of the very few that I posted during my first trimester of pregnancy considered for something such as this. It feels like an acknowledgement that I do have talent in this realm, and that I do have a voice that people will want to hear.

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