Menu button
Home » Campus & Community, Mobile

‘Encounter the Real’ Photography Exhibit Coming to the Lawrence Campus 

Submitted by on June 10, 2024 – 2:10 pm

Lawrence, MA (June 6, 2024) – Seven local artists are coming together to create a powerful new photography exhibit called Encounter the Real – Emotive Reflections. It will be displayed in Louise Haffner Fournier Education Center on Northern Essex Community College’s Lawrence Campus at 78 Amesbury Street starting June 15.

The show was the brainchild of Kat Almonte and Mahli Rivera, owners of Grainy Daze Studios in Lawrence. As Rivera was working to submit pieces to another show, she said she reflected on the time and money it took just to have her work seen.

Kat Almonte and Mahli Rivera, owners of Grainy Daze Studio

“I realized how impactful it would be if someone had the opportunity to create artwork without the funding,” she said. She and Almonte expanded on that idea, which they brought to life using a grant from the Lawrence Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council.

“We wanted an opportunity for marginalized people to be able to have a space and opportunity to gain skills and work on their passions,” added Almonte.

Through an open call for submissions, they selected five artists– representing BIPOC women/non-binary/LGBTQ+ perspectives– to create the show alongside them. The group has been working since April to produce Encounter the Real – Emotive Reflections. Almonte and Rivera provided each artist with studio space and all seven of them get together every other Sunday to discuss the show.

The result is what they describe as a showcase of the artists’ “essence of emotions and spirituality and what that means to them through their lens.” All the works are created using 35mm film, which Almonte and Rivera developed and processed in their studio.

The NECC Connection 

When she’s not busy creating art and exhibits, Almonte also happens to be a Northern Essex student. The General Studies: Art and Design major first came to the college in 2010 but took some time off for personal reasons. They returned in 2019 and met Dianne Pappas, an NECC adjunct art & design faculty member, during an online class. “I fell in love with her class – teaching inspirational art. It was just a great experience.”

Pappas has her own studio just down the hall from Grainy Daze and when Almonte told her about the upcoming show, Pappas suggested they host it on NECC’s Lawrence Campus. Pappas helped secure the space and NECC’s Liberal Arts Division agreed to be a sponsor of the show.

Encounter the Real- Emotive Reflections opens on June 15 with a reception from 4 to 8 pm. It will run until June 30th and then move to three other locations throughout Lawrence this summer. The Gallery at the Louise Haffner Fournier Education Center is open to the public June 16 – 29 10 am-6 pm.

For more information, visit the Grainy Daze website.