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Student Photos Evoke Hospice's Spirit
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Student Photos Evoke Hospice's Spirit

A group of Notre Dame College photography students spent much of the spring 2010 semester on a unique project capturing the joy and sorrow of seriously ill patients, and their families, as they received end-of-life care at Hospice of the Western Reserve. An exhibit of these photographs titled “A Place of Comfort & Care: Hospice of the Western Reserve“ will open with a reception at Notre Dame College on Thursday, Sept. 16. 

Photo by Aurelia NuberLed by Professor Malinda Smyth, four students in the College's advanced photography class immersed themselves in hospice care, shadowing patients who were approaching the end of their lives. Photographing them alone as well as with their families, their pets or their most precious possessions, the students - Sarah Nank, Aurelia Nuber, Ralph D'Alessio, and Dominic Schiavoni - celebrated the patients’ lives and helped preserve precious memories.

“For me, the purpose of the project has been to bring patients who are dying back to life,” Nank said. “We are helping them remember the parts of themselves that make their lives meaningful.”

The project was originally dreamed up by NDC Professor Tony Zupancic’s daughter, Grace, who completed an internship in Hospice’s communications department. She went on to write a project proposal and Hospice decided to approach NDC as its collaborative partner. Associate Professor of Art Rachel Morris joined Smyth in working to bring the idea to life.

“The four students involved embraced this project wholeheartedly and produced a mature body of work that reflects the compassion and care Hospice provides at the end of life,” Smyth said.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. It will be on display in Notre Dame’s Performing Arts Center on the ground floor of the Administration Building Mondays through Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. until Nov. 18. The opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. NDC students are available to talk about the project and share their experiences. To schedule an interview and for further information contact Christian Taske, editor and writer, at 216.373.5301 or ctaske@ndc.edu.  

Meet the photographers: Dominic Schiavoni, Aurelia Nuber, Ralph D'Alessio and Sarah Nank.

Meet the photographers: Dominic Schiavoni, Aurelia Nuber, Ralph D'Alessio and Sarah Nank.