POWELL, Wyoming — Northwest College photography students invite the local community to view and bid on pieces of fine art photography to help finance medical costs for “Mighty Mia,” infant granddaughter of Scott and Barbara Horton of Powell.
Mia Kennedy was born Jan. 8 in Billings, Montana, with critical complications, including kidney failure and collapsed lungs. Her body functions and outlook were so limited, doctors pulled Mia off life support and handed her to her parents, Lisa and Dave Kennedy, not long after her birth so she could spend her last moments in their arms.
But mighty Mia had different ideas. The doctors re-evaluated her condition the following morning and discovered her lungs had completely healed. This meant she could survive a life-flight to the neonatal intensive care unit at Children’s Hospital in Denver. Mia has a long road ahead of her but continues to improve and is now home with her parents and sister, Madelynn.
The “mighty” nickname she earned for herself also describes the costs associated with spending nearly a month in Denver. In addition to medical expenses, her family members shared turns living there and helping with her care.
To help defray those costs, students in the NWC Photo Theme Seminar class have mounted an exhibit of fine art photography to be sold in a silent auction.
Their photographs are displayed along with bid forms through Friday, March 6, in the SinClair Gallery at Northwest. The auction will close at 5 p.m. Friday.
Located in the Orendorff Building, SinClair Gallery will be open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. the week of the “Mighty Mia” exhibit.
Students in the NWC Photo Theme Seminar get a different experience from most of their other college classes by playing an integral part in developing the seminar curriculum. They further their photographic skills by reaching out to build relationships through a variety of community service projects ranging from gallery openings to photographic outings, while donating proceeds to photography-related organizations and local causes.
Their most recent project was a 2015 calendar to benefit the Helena De Fina Community Wellness Endowment Fund. De Fina is the late wife of Anthony Polvere, NWC faculty advisor to the Photo Theme Seminar.
“I was so overwhelmed by the support the student’s calendar project received,” Polvere said, “I encouraged them to find another person who needed help. Over the years, photo seminar students have raised untold amounts to benefit many causes across Park County and beyond. I feel honored that this year their efforts are directed back at the Northwest College family.”