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Home of the Brave: A Photographer Honors Berkshire Veterans

Rural Intelligence Parties and OpeningsCultural correspondent Bess J. M. Hochstein reports from Pittsfield:  The stars aligned for photographer Bill Wright about six weeks ago, when he approached Megan Whilden, Director of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development, about mounting an exhibition of portraits of local military veterans in the city’s Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. A previously scheduled show failed to materialize, and Wright’s proposal fit right in with Pittsfield’s Big Read community bookreading project, which is focused on Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War novel, The Things They Carried. So the gallery made an exception to its group-show orientation and helped put out the call to local men and women who have served in all branches of the military to participate in Wright’s Berkshire Veterans Photography Project, including George Moran (left) who served in Navy during the Vietnam War.  Twenty-one of Wright’s powerful, larger-than-life portraits hung on the gallery walls as subjects and their families gathered for the show’s opening on Friday, March 12. Among the guests was Wright’s oldest subject, Margaret Haggerty, who served in the Army during World War II; she turns 100 this month. Wright, who served in the Air Force during the Gulf War, continues to work on his Berkshire Veterans Photography Project, which he hopes to turn into a book. He asks that local veterans contact him for a free portrait sitting: brkvets@gmail.com.
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World War II Army nurse Margaret Haggerty, who turns 100 later this month, surrounded by Pittsfield’s Veteran’s Services Director Rosanne Frieri of the Air National Guard; Melissa Mazzeo, At-Large City Councilor; and Navy veteran Terry Probst, who chauffered Haggerty to the opening; Vietnam veterans Henry Morris of the Army and John Harding of the Marines, a retired Pittsfield schoolteacher and deejay.
 
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Graphic designer Joe Wilk, business partner of photographer Bill Wright, with Carly Beery, a surgical technologist at Fairview Hospital.
 
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Laura Roudabush, Barrington Stage Company’s director of marketing, with Jess Conzo, program coordinator for MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center; Jernee Edgerton, Youth Coordinator for the City of Pittsfield, with Ryan Weightman, Cultural Pittsfield Program Coordinator and Gallery Manager.
 
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Bart Dery, who served in the Navy from 1987 - 1995, with his portrait.
 
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Printmaker and art teacher Michael Bushy and Becca Bushy with Aaron Wood and artist Stephanie Gravalese-Wood, the new communication and education coordinator for The Colonial Theatre; Photographer Bill Wright, an Air Force Desert Storm veteran who pans to publish a book based on his Berkshire Veterans Photography Project, with friend and fellow photographer Adam Kurtz, who printed and framed Wright’s portraits in record time.
 
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Cultural Pittsfield’s Megan Whilden with Shirley Edgerton, program director for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services in Berkshire County and executive director of Youth Alive!
 
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Teacher Jack Curletti with Carrie Wright, the photographer’s wife, who owns Emporium on North Street; artist Jazu Stine with Connecticut College senior Thomas Winstanley.
 
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Paige Wright, 7, daughter of the photographer and star of “Manic Mondays with Paige,” with her aunt Christine “Murray” Duhancik; Eric, Liam, and Dana Michele Seddon, an optician and flight engineer with the Air Force whose portrait is in the show.

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Posted by Dan Shaw on 03/14/10 at 04:14 PM • Permalink