Meet the inspiration spurring new research at the institute

News Outlet:

The Huntsville Times


HUNTSVILLE, ALA. — The genetic research that goes on at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology can seem complicated, the stuff of lofty science journals. A photography exhibit the institute recently commissioned, however, shows that work in a different light. It's Aidan, who recently lost his first tooth, and Brandon, who has a great sprinkle of freckles across his face. It's Sarah with her wide smile and brown eyes.
These are some of the children captured in "Positive Exposure @HudsonAlpha," a photography exhibition that will be on display April 9 through 14 at the Huntsville Museum of Art. The images will also be on view for the institute's Spring Benefit for Childhood Genetic Disorders on April 25, which will raise money to fund the institute's research, including a major genetic project involving children with undiagnosed disabilities.
The photos were taken by Rick Guidotti, a New York-based photographer and founder of Positive Exposure, a nonprofit organization that uses photography and videos to help change perceptions about people with genetic, physical and behavioral disabilities. Guidotti visited HudsonAlpha in February, taking hundreds of photos that became this 20-photo exhibit.
"The idea is to create an opportunity to see beyond difference," to see people as the individuals they are, not as a condition, Guidotti said of his work in a phone call from New York City. By photographing individuals with disabilities with love and respect, Guidotti hopes to create "a more inclusive society where we can see and embrace diversity."
Guidotti's "work is just so vibrant and life-affirming, and it changes people's attitude about what individuals with disabilities look like," said Neil Lamb, who is the director of educational outreach at HudsonAlpha. "He has put faces to terms and topics we often just gloss past."
You can read the rest of the story by Pat Ammons here
The Huntsville Museum of Art, 300 Church St., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students 12 and over, seniors 60 and older and members of the military and educators, $5 for children 6 to 11 and free for children 5 and younger and for members.