-It all started with meeting a friend who has a child with autism. Photographer Gina Lenz is working on a project to help raise awareness of autism.
“I didn't know anything about autism until I met Tiz and was taking pictures of her daughter, Julie,” said Lenz. “We want to promote acceptance, awareness and the positives of autism.”
Lenz is taking photographs of individuals on the spectrum and parents are writing a blurb telling a little about their child. The project is called, “The World Through My Eyes: a photographic tribute to autism.”
The photographs will be displayed at Hanson Gallery, located 1037 Main Street Honesdale, from April 2-15. April is Autism Awareness Month and April 2 is also World Autism Awareness Day. Light It Up Blue, dedicated to raising awareness, is also on April 2. Parents will also be able to keep the photo after it is displayed.
“I told her that the best way to do this would be to catch them doing what they love to do, which would allow her to capture their distinct personalities,” said Tiz Cavezza of Hawley, friend of Lenz. “It's putting a face behind the diagnosis.”
Her six-year-old daughter, Julie, is on the spectrum.
“We should make them feel good about who they are,” Cavezza said. “I treat Julie like I would any other child. I appreciate the things that make her different and special. This is a great opportunity to highlight these individuals. There's a lot of stress for them to try to fit in the 'normal' world. At the end of the day she's just a kid.”
She added that she's very excited for the event.
“I want the world to see the beauty in them and Gina's great for capturing that,” she stated. “It isn't just professionalism but it also takes heart. It helps a lot as a parent that Gina is like that.”
“Everyone has had a part to play and I thank everyone for their help,” said Lenz.
Currently there are six individuals that Lenz is taking photographs of, ranging from ages 3-19. She is hoping to get a few more participants.
“It's not just to raise awareness, but also to capture who they are,” Lenz said.
If anyone is interested in having an individual who is on the spectrum photographed for this project, call Gina at (570) 253-4040 by Wednesday, Feb. 20.