I want to mention 3 people whom I’ve been thinking about a lot lately who influenced my creative world when I was growing up. 1) Karen Keating, my high school photography teacher, just received an honorable mention for The Santa Fe Excellence in Teaching Award. I nominated her a few months ago and am so thrilled that she has received this honor. Karen guided me through such interesting creative and personal challenges when I was a teenager. It was wonderful to see her recently and catch up. She changed my life. Here’s a link to some photos I shot throughout high school when I was in Karen’s class. 2) Al Decredico was my drawing teacher at RISD. I’m terrible drawer. Just horrible. He let me take photos in his class, but critiqued them as if they were drawings. I absorbed such interesting creative lessons in his classroom. His teaching approach was unique and will stick with me forever. I found out yesterday that he has recently passed away. I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything, Al. You will be remembered. 3) Two weeks ago, I learned from the news that Casey Johnson has also passed away. I am so sad and shocked to see how she was portrayed in the media now. I haven’t known at all her for 16 years and I had no idea she even had a public identity or anything, so I really know nothing other than my memories. But to honor who I once knew. I want to say that Casey was full of life and high-energy, silliness, creativity, and kindness. Casey was my first photographic muse (who wasn’t my sister) and close friend for a summer at Colby College's high-school art program when we were 14 years old. She inspired me tremendously and I wanted to share this publicly since most of what I read and watched about her in the news was not so kind. I’m not sure what happened. Life is so strange. This is her when I knew her.