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A photographic and video salute to Joplin's recovery

August 26, 2011

On Friday, August 26, the “{Hope}’s Stations: Faith, Patriotism, & Brands" exhibit opened in the Avila’s Thornhill Gallery, showcasing the works of Dr. J. Anthony Snorgrass from his travels to Joplin, MO to help with the recovery efforts from the devastating tornado that hit on May 22nd. The exhibit ended on September 11th and was viewed by many students, faculty, staff and special visitors from Joplin.

Snorgrass, an Associate Professor of Communications at Avila University, traveled this summer with a non-profit organization called {Hope} Station. This organization would eventually become the inspiration of Snorgrass’ photography exhibit name. During his many visits to Joplin over the summer, Snorgrass took thousands of 35mm, digital, and video exposures. The outcome resulted in the selection of forty-two (42) emotional photographs; forty-eight (48) 3D exposures exhibited in old school view masters; and twenty-two (22) minutes of gripping video. Snorgrass hoped that his photographs and video will provide others with “a deep sense of what happened in Joplin and as well inspire others help rebuild the community.” 

As guests of the {Hope}’s Stations” exhibit mingled, many signed a framed photograph, leaving sympathetic messages such as “Our thoughts are with you in recovery,” and “Praying for you all.” The piece will be delivered to the Wildwood Baptist Church in Joplin, and will hopefully further give strength to survivors.

Gallery Director, Marci Aylward, had nothing but positive things to say about the exhibit and its grand opening. “There has been a lot of support from faculty and students. Everyone is so glad this is here.”  Aylward, who helped Snorgrass prepare the gallery room for the debut, believed that the exhibit was important for the community to see. “[Disaster] happened here in Missouri. These are our neighbors. They are still going through this. They still need our help.”

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