P O W E L L, W y o. - Northwest College Photography Theme House students are hoping money grows on trees Wednesday, Nov. 19, when they host their 2009 calendar benefit from 7-9 p.m. at Topolo's Mexican Grill in Powell.
The students this year chose to focus on trees for their calendar photos, calling their project "Rooted in Tradition." They'll sell copies of the calendar for $5 each and related images in the same theme during a silent auction.
All proceeds from the auction will go to Anthony McConnell, an NWC graduate who majored in photography and journalism before taking a job at the Cody Enterprise. McConnell is facing extensive medical bills after a car accident last summer when he was hit by an uninsured driver. His injuries have kept him wheelchair-bound and unable to work until recently.
The roots McConnell planted at NWC while he was a student have helped brace him through subsequent challenges and kept him in the minds of college faculty and students. It's that convention of growing roots into traditions that was interpreted by photo students into images that will be available for auction and for purchase in the 2009 calendar.
Each monthly calendar photo features a different way of looking at trees. February, for example, provides a close-up look at the bark of a tree carved with a love message. May's image highlights a small sapling cradled carefully in the hands of a young child. Traditional landscape images are also sprinkled through the year.
The calendars will be available for purchase at $5 each during the event, and students will be on hand to sign them and talk about their photos and the experiences and insights gained from the project.
Last year's calendar benefit attracted more than a hundred people whose purchases helped Jeremy Thormahlen, a local resident with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
The photography theme house is a college course in which students play an integral part in developing the class curriculum. Participants further their photographic skills by reaching out to build relationships with a range of community service projects, ranging from gallery openings to photographic outings, while donating proceeds to photography-related organizations and local causes. The calendar production project also gives photo students an idea of a full, start-to-finish commercial project and the opportunity to see how the final project is received by the public.
Theme house students participating in this year's calendar project and benefit auction are Janice Tieu of Powell, Karlie Hammond and Dustin McClure of Lovell, Charles Stoll of Douglas, Dawn Storie of Gillette, plus Montana students Trent Schweitzer of Billings, Robyn Schmidt of Bozeman and Genna Boland of Great Falls.
They invite area residents to drop in Wednesday, Nov. 19, for complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a chance to view auction photographs and the 2009 calendar.