Don's disability, an hereditary neuro-biological brain disorder, has been a life long challenge. It had its' most recent and most severe on-set sixteen years ago. This onset initiated numerous personal crises, including the loss of his career conducting Social/Educational research. Fortunately he has graduate degrees and post-graduate education in both Psychology/Education and Fine Arts, allowing for an easier transition into his present profession as a Photographer/Artist. After a referral from VR he was enrolled in a DOL funded project managed by Cary Griffin at the University of Montana. Don received a personal grant to purchase photographic darkroom equipment, assistance with developing a business plan, and a PASS that enabled him to establish his wildlife photography profession. Today Don is an internationally recognized photographer having been given, by invitation, the front cover and a six page profile in LeicaView ( Spring 2003 ) one of the worlds' most prestigious photographic publications. He developed a photo specialty working with wildlife biologists recording animal behavior for their research studies. He has worked on Orca whale projects in the Northwest; Wild Horses in the Southwest; The Mexican Wolf Recovery Project in Az. and N.M. and Yellowstone National Parks' Wolf Recovery Project. Additionally he has served as media photographer for Expo New Mexico and The Albequerque International Balloon Fiesta and taught photography classes with Santa Fe Workshops and The Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle.
In gratitude for the successes, and the assistance he has received from others, Don has founded The Emergent Institute. TEI is a non profit organization dedicated to supporting Artists with disabilities in the Visual and Performing Arts in achieving self-sufficiency by furthering their education, employment and entreprenuerism. Recently TEI has been successful in gaining the cooperation of Royal Films, a feature and documentary film production company, in including artists with disabilities in the pre-production, promotion and talent roster of their upcoming films (Paradise Valley, May 2007). Additionally, The Emergent Institute, working with Hatch Fest Visual and Video Fine Arts Festival, included, for the first time, a venue for Artists with disabilities showcasing painters, sculptures and ceramic artists beside their non-disabled counterparts.
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296 Meadow Road
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