Linda Fenton-Mendenhall, Seaside resident, Fairweather House and Gallery fine art photographer and Seaside First Saturday Art Walk photographer.
“I attended last month’s Art Walk at your gallery and I wanted to share just how special of an experience it was for me. My cousin Linda (one of the presenters that night) invited me to attend as I had just arrived to Seaside the day before.
I had just gotten off the road from a 6-week long road trip spanning the entire Oregon and California coastline. I’d been camping alone in the forests and on the solitary beaches since August, absorbing the beauty and wisdom of the earth. Soul searching. Seeking. At 43, a very harsh year of setbacks drove me out of my hometown of San Diego, California, and deep into the loving embrace of Mother Nature.
I had no intention of coming in out of the woods until I found a good reason to live and a deeper meaning for my own existence. Seaside Oregon was merely a short respite from what I thought would be a much longer journey up into the Alaskan wilderness. But sometimes we get messages from the universe that change our course. Of all of the messages I received from the quiet forests and beaches along my journey in the previous six weeks I wasn’t expecting to receive such a profound message inside a beautiful art gallery in Seaside, Oregon on that Saturday night.
All of the presenters were fabulous, and I’m of course so proud of my cousin and her beautiful work. But the words of photographer Neal Maine are what ultimately struck a deep chord within my soul.
While he was sharing his wisdom, I couldn’t help but to think that the universe puts us in the right place at the right time. I needed to be there that night. I needed to hear his message.
As Neal spoke of the human spirit and of our opportunity to experience the magnificence of this world I could feel my own pain slowly melting away. Suddenly it was crystal clear to me. I hadn’t been running away from myself or my problems. I was running toward myself and Nature was my pathway. This personal epiphany is difficult for me to explain but let’s just say it has opened up my heart in profound ways that I never could have imagined. I’ve been reminded how to love.
I was only supposed to be in Seaside for a few days but I’ve been here a whole month, doing more soul-searching and working on my creative projects from the comfort and warmth of this wonderful community. My journey will never end but I know for certain that this month, after six life changing weeks on the road, I was meant to end up in your Gallery on that Saturday night to receive this message from Neal.
It changed the course of my life, and I am eternally grateful. I hope you can share my experience with Neal and let him know that, like my cousin Linda, I’m not only photographing nature in a different way because of him, I’m seeing the world through a slightly clearer lens. And it’s really beautiful. In gratitude and shared love for our beloved earth.” –Joseph Antonio Cervantes
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” ~John Muir
Joseph’s cousin, Linda Fenton Mendenhall, was appointed to be the official photographer for the Seaside Art Walk experiences in 2013.
The Fairweather Gallery has been fortunate to be able to sponsor photographers for the Historic Gilbert District events and the Seaside First Saturday Art Walk for nearly ten years.
“Those that live for the arts, support the arts.”
During many Seaside First Saturday Art Walk evenings at the Fairweather Gallery, at 6:pm Neal Maine, ecologist, biologist, education and nature photographer, speaks about the local habitats found within steps of downtown …”in our own back yards. We live in paradise.”
Please visit http://www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com/artists/Neal Maine for more about the photographer and to view his catalog of images.
Proceeds in support of NCLC.