A Fargo photo exhibit opens, telling the story of one famiy's lossFargo, ND (WDAY TV) A beautiful, breath-taking, emotional photo exhibit will open tomorrow at Plains Art Museum. It is a team effort of the museum, Hospice, and a group of young photographers from MSUM-Moorhead. It is called: "Witness to Life."
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) A beautiful, breath-taking, emotional photo exhibit will open tomorrow at Plains Art Museum. It is a team effort of the museum, Hospice, and a group of young photographers from MSUM-Moorhead. It is called: "Witness to Life."
Not a day goes by that Trent and Brandi Niemeier don't think of their incredible baby boy, Gauge.
Gauge Wyatt Niemeier, a head of fluffy red hair. An attitude to go with it. A spirit to live.
Dad: "And some of those pictures, just say it all."
Gauge was born with an incurable heart disease. And so when the couple realized it was best to bring him home and care for him along with Hospice, the focus changed to living out, in full, Gauge's last days.
Hospice proposed to several families the idea of documenting the life of a loved one thru photography.
Mom: "I didn't think of Chris as a stranger at all. He just became part of our lives."
Some, like the Niemeiers, accepted and for several days student Chris Franz took hundreds of photos of Gauge.
Chris says, “The Black and white is really good because you're not blinded by the colors.”
Beautiful, forever frozen pictures of this little boy.
Mom: "The photos beautifully represent his life and his joy. Gauge really taught us that life is all about your attitude and your perspective. He was such a sick baby and didn't feel well. We knew he didn't feel well but still, he was a fighter."
Franz became like family. Showing up now and then, tastefully using his lens, to tell the story of a fighter, someone's baby who would soon leave them.
"The camera was a shield for a long time. When I would go home I would back up my photos and I wouldn't look at them. It was the 5th or 6th time that I was like Okay I'll look and see what I have and there was a picture the second picture here of Trent and Gauge moments before Gauge went to bed and I looked at the photograph and I just wept everything just finally hit home."
So many times we are so quick to jump at any chance of extending life, here the Niemeiers chose to quietly cherish the time they had with Gauge, and thru these images today, remember the face of a fighter.
Mom: "You see Gauge smiling at his mobile and it's just so Gauge."
The "Witness to Life" exhibit opens tomorrow morning at the Plains Art Museum. This is in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary of Hospice of the Red River Valley.