The Story Behind the Photograph
When first approached about the possibility of being the 2014-2015 Seasons Pass Artist for the Rhode Island Blood Center, I did not hesitate to to say yes. And to understand why I said yes, and why I created the photograph that I did, we are going to have to travel back in time.
Just over 15 years ago, the RIBC came into my life and changed it in a way I would never have anticipated. My father became very ill, and while hospitalized went through over 70 units of blood, while doctors searched for a cause of his internal bleeding. His coworkers organized a blood drive and donated in his name.
The doctors identified the problem as Diverticulitis, a nasty intestinal disease. My father underwent surgery, and after 3 weeks in the hospital returned home. Without the RIBC that would not have been possible – the gift of blood kept him alive long enough for the surgeons to work their magic.
Without that gift, we very likely would have lost my father, and my sons would have grown up without getting to know their grandfather. I am very happy to report that my father is enjoying a very active & healthy retirement in sunny Florida.
What is the Seasons Pass Program?
The Seasons Pass program is a program in its 12th year that uses art to help promote the mission of the Blood Center. A local artist is commissioned to create a piece of art that is then given to frequent donors.
Individuals that donate blood 4 times during the year receive a large print of the photograph, and organizations that organize 3 blood drives during the year receive a large framed print of the photograph.
The original art work is then displayed at one of the RI Blood Center sites around the state.
Early on in the year, I knew what I wanted my piece to be. I created “The Lighthouse” early in the summer of 2014, and it was all I could do to keep it a secret! To me, the lighthouse was the perfect way to represent what I feel the RI Blood Center embodies. A symbol of strength and fortitude.
“The lighthouse stands tall on the rocky bluffs of Beavertail State Park as it has for over 150 years. The lighthouse has become a symbol of comfort and strength to mariners up and down the coast. A lonely granite sentinel, that says “not on my watch”. I am here today, as I was yesterday to guide you to a safe harbor. The tides will come and go, the sun will rise and set, but I will not leave your side.
The Rhode Island Blood Center is just like the lighthouse. Steady and reliable. Day in, and day out. Providing guidance and comfort in times or extraordinary need. Always there to provide comfort to a person or family in need.”
– Mike Dooley
The Press Conference
On March 3, 2015 the Rhode Island Blood Center held a press conference where together we unveiled “The Lighthouse”. Only a very few people had seen the image before the unveiling. Barbara Morse Silva of Channel 10 was on hand, and put together a great piece on the event,
With friends and family on hand it was a great day to share my work and give back to an organization that has given so much to my family! A big thanks to my good friend and fellow photographer Bob Kidd of Bob Kidd Photography for photographing the event for me.
Where Have I Been?
Ironically, during this past year I was diagnosed with the very same disease that my father suffered from. After numerous extended stays in the hospital, I ultimately had the same surgery as my dad and am feeling much, much better.
Thank you so much to all of you that have reached out to me with your kind words of encouragement!
While illness and recovery have prevented me from spending time with my camera, the downtime has allowed me to do a lot of reading and reflecting on my work!
I have tons of new ideas and new techniques that I cannot wait to try in the field, and look forward to sharing the photographs with all of you here on the blog!