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Merced photographer featured at Carnegie Center

Roger Wyan states: “My hope is this project conveys that people are so much more than the final chapter in their lives. We are the summation of a life lived. Dying is just one part, albeit a major part, of our entire story.”
Roger Wyan states: “My hope is this project conveys that people are so much more than the final chapter in their lives. We are the summation of a life lived. Dying is just one part, albeit a major part, of our entire story.”

The Carnegie Arts Center is opening two new exhibitions in the Lobby Galleries this week that amplify and explore the idea of heroism. The exhibitions will be on view through Jan. 26.

In the Upper Lobby is the photo-essay Sacred Spaces: Honoring the Final Journey by Merced photographer Roger Wyan.

Working with Kathleen Stefani of Hinds Hospice in Merced, Roger photographed patients involved in hospice care during the final stages of their lives. The images are intimate and poignant; the stories and interviews recorded with the patients and their family members are life-affirming.

Wyan states: “My hope is this project conveys that people are so much more than the final chapter in their lives. We are the summation of a life lived. Dying is just one part, albeit a major part, of our entire story.” Each of the photographic stories is accompanied by excerpts from interviews with the patient or his/her family members. Several also have audio excerpts from the interviews available to stream from the Carnegie’s website while viewing the show. Wyan feels that listening the voices behind the images provides for the most complete and compelling experience.

In the Lower Lobby is Heroes Real & Imagined, an all-media juried exhibition that asks artists to consider the idea of a hero from any angle. Why do some people or the ideas they represent become heroic to individuals or communities? Submissions included representations of mythic heroes, cultural icons, personal mentors, and civic figures. “Responses to this call for entries varied widely – as we had hoped they would,” says Carnegie Director Lisa McDermott. “The result is highly personal to the artists but does speak volumes about what we prioritize in our heroes. Nearly all the works included in the exhibition represent good intentions and selfless behavior as the core values in heroism.”

Artists include: Leslee Adams (Modesto), Frank Ayala (Merced), Timothy Brown, Jr. (Turlock), Susan Conner (Altaville), Chloe Fonda (Oakdale), Harold George (Turlock), Magdalena Gonzales (Turlock), Don Hall (Turlock), Christine Harvey (Modesto), Tiffanie Heben (Tracy), Sue Jenkins (Scranton, PA), Judy Knott (Galt), Kathleen McLaughlin (La Mesa), Andrea Morris (Lodi), Geri Patterson-Kutras (Morgan Hill), Daniel Ryan (Columbia), Michael Souza (Turlock).

Both exhibitions are presented in conjunction with My Hero! Contemporary Art and Superhero Action, an exhibition of works by an international roster of artists that explores and reimagines the lives of iconic superheroes.

A reception to celebrate the work of all the artists in the two exhibitions will be held in conjunction with the quarterly Downtown Turlock art walk, Art Around Town, on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 5-8 p.m. The Lobby Gallery reception is free and open to the public.

The Carnegie is open to the public Wednesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sunday noon – 4 p.m.

General admission to the Ferrari Gallery is $7; seniors/students $5; free for Carnegie members and children 12 and under. Admission to the Lobby Galleries is free.

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