Monday, July 9, 2012
Dee Perry welcomes back photographer Angelo Merendino to share the story of his wife Jen and her battle with cancer captured in the photo exhibit - The Battle We Didn't Choose - going on view at The Gathering Place later this week. Plus Dan Polletta pays tribute to local drum legend Bob McKee and the TOPS Swingband onstage at Nighttown tomorrow night. And poet Philip Metres opens the cover of his award-winning chapbook - abu ghraib arias.
From Angelo Merendino:
With respect to the recent decision made by The Gathering Place to discontinue my photo exhibition, I’d like to issue the following statement:
Throughout Jen’s devastating diagnosis, we were fortunate to find organizations that embraced and supported us, much like The Gathering Place serves such needs in the greater Cleveland community. To say that I was thrilled when the organization reached out to me and extended an invitation to exhibit my work would be an understatement. I was ecstatic to take this important work to the next level and I eagerly submitted images for approval, which I received. As such, the nature and content of the exhibit should not have taken anyone off guard.
While I can appreciate there are people who may find some of the images overwhelming and difficult to look at, I only wish that the feelings of the clientele served by The Gathering Place had been taken into consideration before I was given approval to install the exhibition. Based on the stated mission of the organization, perhaps this was not an appropriate venue to properly showcase my work.
That said, it would be disappointing if the fallout from this decision resulted in negatively impacting the support of present and future donors of The Gathering Place.
To everyone who has reached out to me privately and publicly to express their dismay with the decision of The Gathering Place to remove my exhibition, I see an opportunity to channel your collective enthusiasm and energy into something positive and I ask for your help in finding a new home for these photographs that have touched so many. I strongly believe this is the best way to honor Jen’s legacy and provide a voice for those affected by metastatic breast cancer. I am grateful for your help and humbled by your continued love and support.
~ Angelo Merendino, creator, “The Battle We Didn’t Choose: My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer”
Arts and Culture, History, Literature, Music, Photography
Angelo Merendino, photographer
Bob McKee and Dick Wooley, musicians
Philip Metres, poet
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Special thanks to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College for the use of their Steinway Piano.
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Dee Perry image courtesy Chris Stephens, The Plain Dealer