Elaine Zelker to Give Discussion on “The Hand: Some Journey,” which Gives Powerful, Personal Narratives With the Use of Hand Portraits

Posted by: jrivera on October 18, 2013, No Comments

Photographer Elaine Zelker will share her experiences and present a program, “These Hands,” at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, October 24. Zelker, formerly a hospice nurse, will talk about the joy and challenges of gathering the unique expression of one’s life journey through poignant photographs that never reveal the subjects’ faces and instead hone in on their expressive hands and on a single object that person has selected to represent the essence of his or her journey.

In her discussion, “These Hands,” at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, October 24, Elaine Zelker will share her experience of gathering the unique expression of one’s life journey through a poignant project that has been featured on national television.

Zelker, previously a hospice nurse and currently a photographer in Easton, Pa., started taking distinct hand portraits when, after her parents passed away, she realized she was craving more of their histories and individual stories. Once she began her venture, she discovered she’d found a powerful vehicle for capturing personal narratives in a succinct, yet profound manner.

Zelker’s discussion exemplifies the art of nursing and was spawned by “The Hand: Some Journey,” which has been documented on Good Morning America and in Entrepreneur Magazine. The event will be at 3 p.m. on October 24 in Lower Dansbury at East Stroudsburg University.

Unlike most portraits, Zelker’s photographs never reveal the subjects’ faces. Instead, Zelker hones in on their expressive hands and on a single object that person has selected to represent the essence of his or her journey.

“By focusing on the hands of elders and the simple objects they reach for to convey their lives, ‘These Hands’ offers a timely, visceral exploration of enduring questions: Who we are as individuals and communities, what it takes to shape a meaningful life and what will matter most when we look back on the roads we have traveled?” Zelker said.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information Zelker’s upcoming discussion, contact Paulette Dorney, assistant professor of nursing, at 570-422-3567.


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