Participant Art

Hirsch Center Exhibitions Featuring Class Participant Works
2009 Photography Class with Tim Barkley

“Looking from the Outside In”

Photography is a self-reflective and meditative art form that offers the opportunity to capture images that reveal our stories. The camera’’s viewfinder invites us to open our minds to seeing things in a new way, focusing our attention on life in the moment. In 2009, cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers met in this first Hirsch Wellness photography workshop to learn the art of seeing from local photographer and musician Tim Barkley. These images and words display the power of being present in the Now, and the stories that live there.

Come see us at the Hirsch Center, where these photographs are currently on exhibition.


“When I begin my cancer journey it did not include a map or compass.   My path was not traveled in solitude, on the way I found comfort and strength; love freely given by my husband and children; prayers and assistance from friends; knowledge and care from doctors and nurses; memories of others who traveled before me; hope in the future; acceptance for things beyond my control; joy in living; perseverance and purpose; but mostly trust and joy in a sovereign Lord.”


Through the Cancer Filter
I see more vividly
I laugh more gutturally
I fear more intensely
I cry more soulfully
I live more.


“I love my wife. We share the heart as an image. We use it in notes we leave for each other, and in gifts we give to one another. On our land is a huge, heart-shaped bedrock. When I see a heart, I think of her and our good fortune.”


“Happiness back on the faces of Laura’s brother and sister.  The strength of family.”


“The other day when I was sitting on my deck… I was so completely out of it from chemo that all I could do was sit and just be. This was a shot of me sitting there, and I thought the reflection in the tub of water was nice.”


“The smile that has melted my heart and given me joy in the days that began with none, and has taught me to enjoy every moment with the wind in my face.”


“While walking in the woods I spotted a beautiful flower unlike all the others I had seen on this trail. It stood alone with a single purple blossom projecting from a large dark green leaf. When my wife came home that evening I told her about the flower, regretful that I did not have my camera with me. Two days later I took her back to where I saw the flower with the hope that it was still there. It was not – see the brown pod just below the flower – however, a new flower had bloomed more beautiful than the first. I now share this flower with you in the hope that you too will find beauty along the path you travel.”


“This rainy late afternoon, trudging into our old rickety barn seemed to make sense. Darkness prevails even on the brightest of days, and the window with no glass looking out onto the cedars illuminates, much like my spirit from the inside out.”


“A grandson provides love in a small package”


“My Mom died a year before I was diagnosed. In a way, I was glad I did not have to make that awful phone call. To tell her I was sick, to pretend that I was okay so she would not lay awake worrying about her kid. But selfishly, I wish she had been around. I guess we all want our Mommy when we don’t feel good.”


“This is Laura, sitting on a 1945 Harley Davidson that she and her class from RCC restored.  I’m very proud of her, since she started the class two weeks after her first chemo treatment, and the class finished the motorcycle the week after her surgery to remove her port.”


“A year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Laura went through the normal range of surgery, chemo, and radiation.  She lost her hair, strength, and confidence.  The hair has grown back, the strength and confidence are coming back.  She has wanted to get into archery for some time and has purchased a compound [bow].  This picture shows her practicing.”


“Putting one foot in front of the other each day during this experience has been a challenge. I thought taking a picture of one of the precious tools that make it happen would be a good idea …  my foot.”


“Getting down on my knees to snap this shot of flowers was just the beginning. Once down there, I saw the tiniest white spider underneath one of the petals on this wild daisy. Hoping the camera’s lens would capture it — mostly for others to see — I walked away with a special moment I will never forget.”


“This was the first picture I took the Saturday after my first chemo treatment.  I can almost see in the praying mantis’ eyes that something big was going to happen soon.  And less than one year from being diagnosed, that ‘something big’ is a new attitude towards life and grabbing it by the horns.”


“The pond in the photo is in my backyard.  I love taking pictures of the pond through the seasons.  In this photo, the water irises and the forget-me-nots are in full bloom.  The ferns have arrived.  At night, the frogs sing to me. Soon, the dragonflies will arrive at the party.”

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