"Spending eight months photographing people with special needs has been a good experience. In the beginning they were a little wary of me, but as I came around every single week, it got better and better. They all started remembering me and were excited to see me. They were all so kind. I learned their different personalities, their favorite things to do, their favorite things to hold onto, and I was able to bring some of those interests into the images I took. Many of them don’t get their photos made very often, so this was kind of a big deal to them. At my first show [at SRVS], just about all of their families showed up, and I was told they were planning to be here tonight as well. I hope the photos serve as an invitation to get to know these and other people with special needs a little better. I hope that people will look at their faces and be happy. I hope they smile."
Some of Peri's work with the SRVS community:
Peri Gildersleeve's work is on exhibit at Playhouse on the Square, 66 Cooper Street, through September 11, 2016.