Two prominent community members and alumni of the University of Nevada, Reno, are currently working together to make a difference in the Reno community with their second annual photography exhibition, entitled “Euphotoria,” this April. The event will raise money for scholarships that benefit cancer survivors attending college.
“[Euphotoria] is a portmanteau of the two words Euphoria and photo,” said Bridget Rosscup, the founder of “Euphotoria.”
Rosscup, who graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a degree in education and psychology, grew up in the world of photography after watching her grandmother, who was a self-taught local award-winning photographer.
Combining her passion for photography and her base in education and psychology, Rosscup started teaching photography workshops at TMCC and, in early spring of last year, had the idea for the photography exhibition that is now known as “Euphotoria.”
Rosscup partnered with My Hometown Heroes, a local non-profit, to host and spread awareness about the exhibition. My Hometown Heroes was founded by Danny Heinsohn, another UNR alumni, who shortly after graduation was diagnosed with and eventually survived brain cancer. The 501(c)3 organization helps to provide scholarships for young adult cancer survivors between the ages of 17 and 39.
Inspired by Danny’s story, Rosscup thought that My Hometown Heroes and “Euphotoria” were the perfect pairing. The two UNR alumni joined forces to create the event that was centered around creativity and therapy through photography, and through the sale of over 100 prints raised enough money to award two $1000 scholarships to college-bound survivors of cancer in Northern Nevada.
The 2016 inaugural display of “Euphotoria” was coordinated and executed in less than 7 weeks. This year, Rosscup and Heinsohn said they are excited to take their experience from last year’s event and make this one bigger and better. With more time to organize and prepare, the 2017 “Euphotoria Photography Exhibition” is already shaping up to be a big success.
“Last year we had five [photo] categories and 21 photographers submit their work,” Rosscup said. “This year we have nine categories and we’ve already had a lot more photographers submitting photos from all over the world.”
This year’s categories are Man Made, Travel/Adventure, Home Means Nevada, Burning Man, Wildlife/Animals, Mother Earth, Details, People and Student. The deadline to submit is 11 p.m. on April 9. There is no limit on the number of submissions per person.
The 150 photos chosen from the submissions will be featured at the event that will take place on Friday, April 21, at Dolan Lexus of Reno, and the sales of the pictures raise funds for scholarships presented by My Hometown Heroes. The event also has live music, entertainment, food and wine.
This year, My Hometown Heroes hopes to award four $1,000 scholarships at the event, and the recipients and their families give brief speeches describing their journies defeating cancer and thanking My Hometown Heroes and “Euphotoria.”
“Putting on an event like this can be really stressful,” Rosscup said. “But to see the gratitude in the recipients and their families is really exciting, and it’s the highlight of the whole show.”
This year, the newly added student photography category has been important. Rosscup said she hopes that students from elementary-age to students at the University enter their photos. She emphasizes that the exhibition is inclusive of all skill levels.
“You don’t have to be a great photographer to take a photo you, or someone else, will want to keep forever,” Rosscup said.
Rosscup has also partnered with Eddie Guth, the youth art coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, to bring an explorative and therapeutic summer program about photography to youth in the community.
“I think these days, especially with adolescents, so much of photography is self-directed, with Snapchat and selfies…I don’t think this allows for a connection with the outside world, and to be able to find enjoyment in other things,” Rosscup said.
Rosscup said this is why she created a program where students go out with their cameras, whether it be a cell-phone or digital camera, to complete assignments that allow them to interact with the outside world and potentially change their perspectives on things.
In the future, Rosscup says she hopes “Euphotoria” can grow into a community wide event, with not only a photography showcase but other activities that promote healthy and therapeutic lifestyles. She also hopes to expand the current summer program run through the Boys and Girls Club to a monthly workshop where students can improve their photography skills and interact with the community.
Bridget is currently accepting photos for the upcoming Euphotoria event. Photographs can be submitted at: firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline, April 9 at 11 p.m.
Emily Fisher can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.