I have always been drawn to the image of an empty bench. I started taking pictures of them as I traveled to different places, whether it be to the local park or half-way across the world. Some were standard in their design, neutral in color, others bright, bold and unique. Very similar to the people that come to sit upon them. I often wonder what secrets they hold, from the many people sitting and discussing their joys, their sorrows, their frustrations. Whether it be with others, or alone, I wonder what dreams were created, what reflections were explored and what decisions were made from sitting on that particular bench. This conjuring was the inspiration for my “From the Bench,” series. My intention is to share conversations, reflections, and opinions on this page. Some will be in writing, others in video or audio form. The topics will be wide-ranging, but the content will be unscripted and real. My hope is that we learn from these conversations, gain some insight from hearing another’s perspective, without judgment, but rather an open curiosity to understand one another and most of all to understand ourselves.

Divorce; Finding the Silver Lining - by N.K. - age 16

I let out a loud yawn as I walked down the stairs and towards the kitchen, grabbing the bagel that was sitting on the counter for me. I looked up at the stove, the time flashing in bright green letters 6:56. My dad still lived in East Troy, when my mom … READ MORE

A Journey with Anxiety - by Lindsey N. - age 17

Each piece concentrates on a certain aspect of my journey – whether it be a spiral of thoughts or something that brings me hope. Art has been a means of self-expression and has helped me work through my thoughts in a positive manner … READ MORE

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