WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Following a three-year collaboration, the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, and commercial photographer Mike Marques will present next month a gallery showing of i am a MoSaic, Connecticut’s Many Faces of MS. The photographs will be on exhibit at the Mandell Jewish Community Center (JCC) from Feb. 3 through March 3, with an opening reception to be held at the Mandell JCC on Sunday, Feb. 9, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
In February 2011 the chapter invited members to take part in a photo essay project organized by Marques and the chapter’s marketing and public relations department.
“Mike has photographed almost 50 individuals from across the state,” said Karen Butler, who oversees marketing and public relations for the chapter. “Each image documents one of the many faces of multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable and potentially debilitating disease whose symptoms vary from person to person. These compelling photographs illustrate courageous and inspiring individuals living their lives as fully as possible in the face of MS. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a talented and giving photographer teamed up with us in the fight against MS.”
Mike Marques, 33, grew up in New Milford. Marques graduated in 2002 from the New England School of Photography, located in Boston, Mass. His clients include World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), General Electric, Connecticut Magazine, Health Dialogue and more. When he isn’t traveling on assignment, Marques, who lives in West Hartford, is active with the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, volunteering his time and talent to help raise visual awareness about MS and its effects on the lives of individuals and their families.
“I never imagined this project becoming as big as it is,” said Marques. “Initially, we did not know the path it was going to take. As more residents were photographed, we realized the amount of impact these images have individually, as well as in a group. For me this essay was not about photography as much as it was about connecting with people in a different way. Through my experiences photographing people with MS, I have become a better photographer."
The gallery reception for i am a MoSaic is open to the public. The reception, featuring opening remarks at 2:15 p.m. and hors d’oeuvres thereafter, will be held Sunday, Feb. 9, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The Mandell JCC is located at 335 Bloomfield Ave., in West Hartford. Those attending the Feb. 9 reception are asked to RSVP. To RSVP, please call 860-913-2550 or email Karen E. Butler, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.