Friends of Sam Smith's month-long photo exhibit at the Assembly Hall closed yesterday. By any measure, it was a huge success. Sixty four images were displayed and 30 were sold! That is a record for the Assembly Hall with now quite a long history of hosting exhibitions. Humber College purchased three images for their Interpretive Centre in the newly built Welcome Centre and they will be on permanent display. Other records were no doubt broken: most people attending the opening night, most visitors during the run etc.
But, one of the exhibit's greatest successes, we think, is that the attention the beautiful images on display received has furthered FOSS's goals as outlined in our mission statement - we are a
" community group of local residents and park users dedicated to
protecting, enhancing and preserving the naturalized areas of Colonel
Samuel Smith Park". Many people who did not know about our park's treasures are now aware and sensitized to the personal and social value of safeguarding accessible, close-at-hand natural areas with wild creatures living in them.
The other success - really a by-product - is that many of the photographers, for the first time ever, printed an image they had shot, framed it and offered it up for public display at a juried exhibit. What a risk! But what a payoff! There were so many delighted faces at opening night as exhibitors brought their family and friends to see their work, their humbly offered "celebration" of their love of nature. Everyone wants to do it again, and that will definitely happen. Ideas are already churning.
Many thanks to the Assembly Hall staff, the FOSS volunteers, the exhibitors, our sponsors, the jurors Anne and Gordon and our speakers Tim and Andrew. But the most gratitude must go to FOSS steering committee member, Liana Franciosi, who worked tirelessly for the best part of a year to bring her vision to fruition.