This thankful Thursday we shine the spotlight on a special photographer located in downtown Wapakoneta. Take a moment to read her story, her passion, and what she's been up to in our community. We're thankful for her talent, kind heart, and generous involvement. Keep doing what you do, Rebecca! We're proud to have you in our community!
She began working with the arts in high school after being inspired by her Art teacher. She found a way to channel a lot of energy and creative abilities after he loaned Rebecca her first 35 mm film camera when she was 16. It was because of Mr. Barlage, she discovered at a very young age exactly what made her happy and she knew she wanted to pursue the arts in some way.
At that time, only so many art courses were offered to high school students so they had to “create” classes for Rebecca to take and she started commuting to a local college her senior year to take collegiate courses and learn more advanced techniques to feed her growing passion.
Upon gradating Rebecca earned three degrees. Two Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from Ohio University and a Masters of Visual Art and Public Life from Indiana-Purdue University. While earning her Masters degree she taught college courses and became heavily involved with community programs providing outlets for children and adults to create work and be in a supportive environment. "It always pains me to see programs in K-12, at the university level, and even with community art centers get their funding pulled away," says Rebecca. "Creating art to me is problem solving." She believes finding creative solutions to everyday obstacles is so important and the basic tools used in making a photograph, building a table, or sculpting can make an individual feel proud to accomplish something. "These same tools can be used to think outside the box, to solve day-to-day activities, and even bring people together to create something for their communities," she explains.
Making a Difference in the Community
"I’m very honored to use my passion every single day for the better. Our team at ClouStudio has the honor to take part in the most important days of people’s lives," Rebecca notes. "We can document a wedding or the birth of a new child so people can look back and remember how amazing these times were. Life changes so fast, a photograph is there as a reminder of how good life is and how we should cherish it."
Rebecca's goal is to participate in the community she lives in today. When she was working with community programs in Indianapolis she found that when she can help support and inspire others her day is worth starting each morning with a purpose. The last two years Rebecca and her team have worked with St Jude Children’s Research hospital raising over $40,000 for research. They donate their time photographing young babies and hold a contest in conjunction with the St Jude Radiothon in Lima. Each year in Wapakoneta they photograph the Summer Moon Pageant contestants as they work hard for scholarships and they donate to many local and other charity events and auctions to help raise money whether its to support the local kids sports teams or to help with Cystic Fibrosis Programs.
"Last year we were Where’s Waldo in the Halloween parade hiding in the crowd. The images were for fun and for the community. When you can make someone smile and feel involved we feel like we did something right. I couldn’t do this without the entire team that has grown since I started ClouStudio in 2011," Rebecca explains. "I am going into my 14th year of working in the arts and wouldn’t change a thing."
You can learn more about Rebecca and her team at ClouStudio by visiting www.cloustudio.com.
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