I want to introduce the readers of GeneaBloggers to Art For Your Sake and a unique concept and gift idea that can help expand your family’s understanding of family history. Using the “digital photomontage” concept, its owner and resident artist Nancy Gershman can actually “recreate” pivotal moments in your family history especially when no photo or image exists. In addition, Nancy is able to “create” situations that never actually took place but might be vibrant and captivating “what ifs” and “imaginings” to help understand the people and places that came before you.
The Digital Photomontage Concept
Intrigued? Confused? Don’t worry – so was I when I first stumbled upon the Art For Your Sake site. But in reading and reviewing the various pages, you can get a better understanding of how Nancy works with a client to create these works of art.
In short, this is how it works: Nancy will sit down and help you focus on a family history story or episode and help memorialize it by gathering the “back story” and creating art work based on the story and any images you provide.
What if you don’t have a photo of your great-grandmother as a bride, the one who was a dance hall girl and married the Standard Oil executive? No worries – she can take existing images and add elements to create an “imagining” of that special day or event.
The image above shows a Wedding Anniversary “dreamscape” that Art For Your Sake created for a client. As Nancy describes it:
SUSAN & DAVID’S DREAMSCAPE: Susan loves fun socks; her husband David loves cruises and Hawaiian shirts. So for this anniversary photo gift made from childhood photos, I thought, why not have Santa sit on a beach instead of inside a department store?
Note also how I’ve created a new pair of arms for David so Susan won’t slip off his lap. And those arms are not even his!
After giving her husband this photo collage portrait, Susan W writes: “To quote my husband of 10 years, ‘this ROCKS!!!!’ I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the process, the anticipation and the end result. This is a gift we will cherish always! Thank you from the bottom of my overflowing heart!”
Another unique approach – which I love – is how Nancy can actually take images of your ancestors and place them at a current celebration such as a bar mitzvah or wedding. Haven’t you had a special day in your life where you wished a parent or grandparent could be there? With Art For Your Sake you can capture a moment that you’ve imagined using photos and other elements.
Many of the works that Nancy creates at Art For Your Sake are in commemoration of a special event such as a birthday or a wedding. These can be events in the present day or very near past or even those that took place over a century ago. And as described above, even if you don’t have a photo of that event, such as your grandparent’s wedding, Nancy can help recreate it!
Many clients will have a photomontage created to help them heal from a loss or recover from an addiction. Have you ever felt “stuck” in the past or had regrets over a certain situation? Or perhaps a photo depicts a certain difficult time period for an ancestor but you want to show the healing and recovery that took place in that person’s life? Art For Your Sake can work with you to create what I call “healing images” that will help you process the situation for you and your family.
If you want “special” or “unique” in terms of family history-related gifts this season, then take a closer look at Art for Your Sake and contact them. The end result will be not just a photo – it will be a work of art that your family will admire and others will stop and ask, “What is this? What does it mean?” and you’ll have yet another opportunity to share your family’s story.
Follow Art For Your Sake on Twitter and Facebook.
Note: Later today I will be posting an interview with Nancy Gershman, owner of Art For Your Sake, here at GeneaBloggers – stay tuned to find out more about Nancy and her work.
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Disclosure statement: I do have a material connection with Art For Your Sake and its creator, Nancy Gershman: she has offered to create a digital photomontage for me in exchange for social media and genealogy industry advice which I have provided to her and her company. To review the other material connections I have with genealogy vendors, please see Disclosure Statements.
©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee