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The Whole Story
Since early in the spring of 2012, I have participated in the Ashland chapter of a unique artists’ coaching collective called the Artists Conference Network. ACN for short. ACN was founded by Beverly Cassell, a gifted painter and beloved teacher, when she left her teaching job at the University of California at Santa Cruz in the mid 1980s.
Convinced that there needed to be a new way for artists to continue growing outside purely academic environments, Beverly applied the transformational thinking of Fernando Flores to create a peer-coaching network that is rigorous, noncompetitive, nonjudgmental, action-oriented, raucous and fun. Since the mid-80s, the Artist Conference Network has spread across the US, generating a supportive environment for artists in all media to access mastery in their work, careers and lives.
Beverly passed away in June, 2012. In May, 2013, leaders of ACN groups across the country gathered outside Ashland, Oregon, to celebrate Beverly’s legacy and bury her ashes on the property of her dear friend, Mouna Wilson. I made this photo of Mt. Shasta’s ACN Leader, Jean Anderson, as she offered the beautiful envelope she’d made to contain Beverly’s ashes to the Air, the Wind, and the Sky before laying them to rest on the roots of a newly planted dogwood tree.
With 40 years of black-and-white photojournalism behind me, making this shot was a beautiful opportunity for me to play “invisible reporter” with my iPhone camera. I used Camera Awesome to manage focus and exposure. Back home, after the service, I converted the original shot to monochrome and warmed it with a Camera Awesome filter as it seemed to me that the dignity of the event warranted the seriousness of a warm, monochromatic interpretation.