The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Community

April 9, 2014

Stories from elders' perspectives to debut

Alexandria photographer has gallery for 'Through Their Eyes' project

ALEXANDRIA — Lisa Hobbs set out to see through the elderly’s eyes, and now the public will be able to view it, too.

For a little more than a month, the photographer worked on “Through Their Eyes,” a project that focused on 10 residents at Alexandria Care Center. She photographed and interviewed them about important moments in their lives.

“I sometimes wish I had more details for the stories, but it’s through their eyes,” she said. “They’re telling me about their lives.”

Now the community can get a glimpse of history through their elders’ perspectives at a gallery for the project at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Alexandria Care Center, 1912 S. Park Ave.

The portraits of five men and five women from the nursing home will be paired with a written story from their lives and displayed. Hobbs’ portrait of 92-year-old Alexandria resident Wally VanErman and his story about surviving the Battle of Iwo Jima – her test run before she got funding for the project – will also be displayed.

From the beginning Hobbs planned on selling the photos and donating the money to the Alzheimer’s Association. Each portrait at the gallery will be sold for $200.

Hobbs said the residents she interviewed range from 76 to 93 years old. She sat with them and got stories of war, everyday life and even stories of loneliness.

“It’s really hard to take someone’s life and put it on a piece of paper,” Hobbs said. “… I hope I did a good job. I don’t know how I’d feel if someone wrote one page about my life and then I had to read it.”

Some of the participants were hesitant to open up to her at first, Hobbs said. Some of the initially quiet ones struggled to stop talking once they got started.

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