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101 Faces: a Carolyn Carmel Photo Exhibit

Updated: Jan 10, 2020

Thank you to everyone who made it to the ACWL-Nuveen on January 3 for the opening of Carolyn Carmel's 101 Faces exhibit. We enjoyed beautiful artwork, great conversation, and delicious food provided by Pub One Eleven. Thank you also to Office Machines Company for printing the exhibit programs and Oceana Glass and Paint Co for providing glass for a few the photo frames. All of the photos are available to purchase, with all proceeds going to the artist. If you haven't seen the exhibit yet, it will be on display through January 31. We are open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

About the exhibit:

Carolyn and her grandmother, Peggy

Carolyn Carmel woke up in the middle of the night with an idea. Earlier that day, while going through photographs for her grandmother, Peggy Closz’s, memorial service, Carolyn noticed how beautiful she was throughout her life. It made her wonder if her grandmother felt beautiful at every point of

her 87 years. “It brought this idea,” she said, “to photograph women of every age, from birth through 100, so they can see how beautiful they are.” That one idea sparked a project that would consume much of 2019.

Carolyn, a successful West Michigan photographer with a degree from the Art Institute of Phoenix, embraced this project as similar to the family, senior, and wedding portraits she typically does, but on a much bigger scale. The idea of locating 101 women to photograph was daunting so she turned to social media. Her Facebook post about this new project was shared far and wide and Carolyn quickly scheduled her first photo shoot. Between February 20 and December 6, she photographed 101 people, most of whom were unfamiliar faces that had reached out when a friend or family member shared her Facebook post.

Carolyn would typically spend 30-60 minutes with her participants at a location of their choosing. Following the photo shoot, Carolyn sent ten questions to each woman and asked them to answer as many as they wished. She transcribed these insights into blog posts on her website, Carolyn hopes this project helps participants and viewers“embrace every decade of life. For the way they physically look, the way they emotionally feel, and just all of the things. Embrace it all.”

Ruth, 60 Bailey, 13 Fran, 81

As for Carolyn herself, this project has taught her to “appreciate each day and find joy in everything.” She is also grateful to all of the volunteers who participated in the project. “I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me. They invited me into their homes and let me photograph them and really opened up to me about their lives.”


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