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Hospice northwest launches “a personal lens on grief” photography exhibition

The exhibition will kick off with a grand opening celebration on April 9.

THUNDER BAY – Hospice Northwest, in partnership with Image Studio of Dance, will present a photography exhibition at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s community room from April 9 to 30 titled A Personal Lens on Grief.

“A Personal Lens on Grief is a project that Hospice Northwest and a couple of community partners have been working on for about a year,” said Cherie Kok, executive director of Hospice Northwest.

“And what it is, is an opportunity for artists as well as individual people who are going through the loss of a loved and it’s an opportunity for them to showcase what they feel grief looks like to them.”

The exhibition features photographs and stories from 20 participants and focuses on each individual participant’s experience with grief.

“I journey a lot with people in the grief process and one of the things I often hear is that they think that something is wrong with them. It’s almost like what’s wrong with me, is this normal that I do that?” said Claudia Otto, choreographer, Image Studio of Dance.

“And so by having this experience for them, it really normalizes something that’s a process and it’s not an illness to get over.”

The exhibition kicks off on April 9 with a grand opening celebration from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. which will feature music by Women in Black and a special dance performance titled Cycles of Grief by Image Studio of Dance that was choreographed specifically to reflect the theme of the project “What Does Grief Look Like to You?”

The Personal Lens on Grief project was designed to focus on the participants’ personal experiences on their grief journeys and the organizers say that by sharing our grief together as a community, we encourage discussion, collaboration for change, and building a community of support.

Hospice Northwest will also be offering two grief workshops at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery:

Processing Grief Through Movement Workshop, which will be held on April 23 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., will be led by Claudia Otto & Marlene-Stirrett Matson, Image Studio of Dance instructors.

Expressive Art Workshop will be held on April 30 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and will be led by Sadie Mallon, Hospice Northwest volunteer.

A Movie Night will also be held on April 27 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m., during which a screening of a Personal Lens on Grief video will be shown.

For more information or to register for the workshops, please contact Jessica Bruce, Grief Program Coordinator at 626-5570, ext. 5580, email her at or visit the HNW website.

Justin Hardy

About the Author: Justin Hardy

Justin Hardy is a reporter born and raised in the Northwest.
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