Congratulations to the Athens Photographic Project artists for having a full exhibition of their photographs featured at the 2013 NAMI National Convention in San Antonio, TX! APP Artists/Mentors Beth Klaus and Sandy White accompanied APP Director Nate Thomson at the Convention, which attracts a national audience of mental health consumers, family members, providers and advocates. The June 26 – 30, 2013 exhibit brought a creative voice to the convention and reached more than one thousand audience members, including many NAMI affiliate members hoping to see a similar arts in mental health program begin in their own communities.










































Healing Vision: Commissioned Photographs for Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare

Opening Reception: Friday, May 17th from 5-7PM at the Dairy Barn Arts Center

Athens Photographic Project artists focused their studies this year on how the arts are used in healthcare settings and were commissioned to create images for a new collection available to residents at the region’s psychiatric hospital, Appalachian Behavioral Healthcare. Please join us at the public reception to celebrate this special body of work. The exhibition is free of charge and on view May 15-21.



































Open House and Holiday Sale

Many thanks to everyone who attended our annual open house at the Elise Sanford Gallery on Friday, December 7th. This event celebrated our second year of having our gallery at The Market on State here in Athens. 40 artists currently participating in the APP exhibited work, Angela Blair and the Sullivan Trio provided music, Pete Wuscher and Sandy White read a few poems, and our guests were thrilled to discover APP’s new handcrafted greeting cards. What a great evening, thanks! Our current holiday card and print collection will be at the gallery through January.




Open House, December 2012













(L-R) Penny Causey – APP Artist, Ed Hitchcock – Gallery Patron, Pete Wuscher – APP Artist









Angela Blair and the Sullivan Trio










Congratulations to the Athens Photographic Project artists who recently received the Ohio Arts Council ADAP Individual Artist Grants! These competitive $250 and $500 awards will allow 12 APP artists to purchase their own camera equipment to use in APP classes and for independent projects this year. Each artist submitted an individual portfolio and grant application to the OAC and will be responsible for completing a grant report in July 2013. Congrats to: Elena Caple, Adele Durfee, Sandy Frazier, Paul Grimes, Katie Krivesti, Brandon LaBonte, Chris Leonard, Margaret Ollie, Glenna Parry, Marshal Rowe, Tom Varner, and Pete Wuscher!!! We hope to see many more qualified APP artists continue to apply to this OAC program in years to come.





OPENING RECEPTION: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, FROM 5:30-6:30PM.  APP Photographer Chris Leonard will have his first solo exhibition, The End of Answers, at the Athens County Public Library this September. Visit the ACLP website to learn more.  Congratulations Chris, see you at the opening reception!

Christopher Leonard was born in the Belpre/Parkersburg metroplex and spent the first months of his life in the shadow of a train trestle. He has lived in Athens County for 42 years. He attended Federal Hocking High School and graduated from Ohio University in 1990. He has always had an interest in photography but did not fully engage with it until the first APP classes in 2001, and more recently in APP’s 2009/2010 classes. His technological pets include old cameras and manual typewriters. He has never had a broken bone. Chris’s work is inspired by the simplicity of Man Ray and other surrealist photography. “The surreal, the marvelous, and the absurd in countless juxtapositions,” he says, “paradoxically render our lives more accessible.”





The Holzer Clinic Community Gallery, curated by The Dairy Barn Arts Center, recently invited APP artists to install photography.  A selection of  photos were chosen from the last two juried APP exhibitions on the basis of promoting a peaceful and relaxing environment for patients and their family.  Thanks to Holzer Clinic and the Dairy Barn for giving the artists this opportunity to share their work with the community.

The Holzer Clinic Community Gallery is a partnership between the Holzer Clinic of Athens and The Dairy Barn Arts Center. This community gallery features exhibitions of artists’ work from throughout the region. Four artists will be selected annually by The Dairy Barn Arts Center to exhibit their work in this space on a rotating basis. Many of the artworks will be available for purchase.

The Holzer Clinic Community Gallery is in the main lobby, which is located at 2131 East State Street in Athens, Ohio. The clinic and gallery hours are Monday – Friday from   8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

Learn more about the Dairy Barn by visiting their webpage





Special thanks to the Ohio Department of Mental Health for featuring an Athens Photographic Project exhibition in the entryway of their Columbus offices from January – March. The collection of exhibited photographs was curated  by APP Mentor/Artist Beth Klaus, and included images from our last two group exhibition.



The Athens Photographic Project was recently featured in an article by David Watson-Hallowell at The Center for What Works, titled “Sparkplugs Keep on Sparking: The Athens Photographic Project 3 Years Later”.  David writes, “Three years ago, Nate Thomson led The Athens Photographic Project team as it participated in the Appalachian Community Learning Project (ACLP), a Community Sparkplug program in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission.  The small scale, short- term projects generated through ACLP result in powerful and sustainable changes. In many cases, these six month initial projects are just the beginning and function as a spring board for longer term community impacts and learnings…” Please take a moment to read the full article here and learn more about The Center for What Works.


Thanks to all who joined us at our December Open House, what a great success! 200 community members attended the reception which featured refreshments made my our board members and local restaurants, live music, and artwork from The Note Card Series. At the opening, we unveiled our much anticipated note card sets. It was wonderful to see so many people purchasing the themed sets that our gallery members have worked so hard on during the fall. The gallery group came up with the idea to create blank note cards, researched styles and materials, created themed, edited images, and sent their recommendations to our graphic designer, Jim Korpi. Jim created a brilliant product design for us, then sent us to work in hand-crafting each card and box. Since launching the note cards in December nearly 125 boxes have sold! Our cards can be ordered on our website (shop-donate button on homepage) or by stopping in at the gallery, Wed-Sun 11am-5pm. Special thanks to the Market on State for their continued sponsorship of our gallery space in the mall.

                       Please join us at the Elise Sanford Gallery for an Open House and Celebration on Friday, December 9th from 5-7pm. Meet the artists and help celebrate our first year at the gallery. We will also introduce our new note cards and affordable matted prints at this event. Refreshments will be served. See you there!  






The Elise Sanford is a member-run gallery located in the Market on State. It’s free and open to the public! The gallery is open:


Wednesday – Saturday: 11 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 12 – 5 pm


Please stop in to see our current exhibition!


This fall, the APP hopes to offer photo workshops to the public. Please join us for fun, friends, and inspiration! All levels of skill are welcomed and encouraged to attend.


Also this fall, look for APP greeting cards around Athens! Each card will feature local photography by one of our artists and information about the project. Proceeds will go to helping continue classes, workshops, and running our gallery.


Please join us for our Annual Exhibition!


The Athens Photographic Project
Annual Group Exhibition

The Athens Photographic Project proudly presents images by 27 APP artists who participated in advanced digital photography classes. Please join us at the opening reception to meet artists and celebrate their work. The exhibition is free of charge and will be  on view from June 3rd – 11th.

Exhibition Juror: Gregory Spaid is a Professor of Art at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He has exhibited his photography at galleries and museums nationwide.

Friday, June 3, 2011, 5-7pm
The Dairy Barn Arts Center

8000 Dairy Lane, Athens, OH 45701

Advancing Mental Health Recovery through the Arts
Since 2000, the Athens Photographic Project has promoted mental health recovery by providing opportunities for community members living with mental illness to express themselves creatively through photography. Info: or 740-818-3624.


APP opens Elise Sanford Gallery in the Market on State

Feb. 8, 2011 – In November 2010, APP partnered with the Market on State to introduce the Elise Sanford Gallery. Currently, there are more than 20 APP artists and community volunteers bringing the gallery to life and more than 200 visitors per week throughout our first month. Additionally, a member-run Gallery Committee formed and is excited to begin offering photo workshops and showing work from APP’s permanent collections, comprised of over a decade of APP photographs. The Gallery Committee is also in the midst of planning a trip to Columbus to visit galleries in the Short North Arts District to learn more.
Additionally, pictures from Touching Light exhibition were rotated out, so now is a great time to stop by and see the newly exhibited work. See what’s innovative and exciting in the field of community-based photography and come get involved in the gallery!




APP members and mentors receive awards

Dec. 2, 2010 – Athens Photographic Project mentor Sandy White and members Adele Durfee and Pete Wuscher all received the Mental Health Advocate Award for Athens County from the 317 Board. Congratulations on the accomplishment! Here’s an article about it and an excerpt from their announcements:
“The Athens-Hocking-Vinton 317 Board is pleased to inform you that you have been selected as this year’s recipient of the Mental Health Advocate Award for Athens County. This award recognizes individuals for outstanding efforts as advocates in the field of mental health as well as a record of extraordinary service and dedication to the community. Your activities have demonstrated that you are highly deserving of this recognition.”




Athens News article about the APP


Nov. 24, 2010 – The Athens News featured APP’s new gallery opening on their front page! Click here to see the article and picture. Congrats to all the artists on a successful open house! Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“APP’s artists, who also manage the gallery, greeted the public and testified to the significance of their work – the results of the world’s first long-term attempt to understand and treat mental illness through the lens of a camera.”

Please join us for our Gallery Open House!

Nov. 8, 2010
APP Gallery Open House
The Market on State
1002 E. State St., Athens, OH
Gallery Reception: Friday, November 19, 5-7 pm
Celebrate the opening of APP’s NEW member-run photo gallery at The Market.
We will announce the gallery name this evening.  Refreshments will be served.
Artist Lecture: Saturday, November 20, noon-1 pm
Get an insider’s perspective on the APP during this lively presentation with our artists and staff.
Free Community Photo Workshop: Saturday, November 20, 1:30-3pm
Advanced registration required for workshop contact APP at 740.818.3624. Space is limited.
APP Gallery hours beginning Nov. 20:
Wed-Sun, 11am-5pm, or by appointment
Located in The Market on State
1002 E. State St., Athens, OH
For more information, contact APP at 740.818.3624
See the event flier here: APP Open House

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