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Hardship inspired Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy's first photography exhibit in nearly five years

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Art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy in Moore, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy in Moore, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
Art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy in Moore, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy in Moore, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
Art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy in Moore, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy in Moore, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.
Art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy in Moore, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Art by Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy in Moore, Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy didn’t plan to have a photography show.

In fact, she hasn’t had a public showcase of her work in several years, despite a career shooting everything from motorcycle calendars and submarines to nude portraits and landscapes.

But like with many artists, inspiration struck her when she least expected it.

“Last year was probably the worst year in my entire life; I wasn’t sure if I was watching The Bold and the Beautiful or living it,” Thomas-Pomeroy said. “It was a year full of lies, deceit, anger, obliviousness, me not being me and people very close to me not being who I thought they were.”

This personal crisis left Thomas-Pomeroy feeling dejected, spending the next 39 days, Jan. 15 to Feb. 22, in a “waking nightmare, not knowing what was real and what wasn’t.”

As a way of self-healing during one of a transitional time in her life, she decided it was time to get back to what she really loved. Even though she didn’t have a specific project in mind, she called up a contact at Revolve Productions and scheduled her first showcase in nearly five years.

The exhibit, 39 Days, opens July 29 and runs through Aug. 5 at 1219 Creative, 1219 N. Classen Blvd.

While she initially thought she would display photographs of her favorite subject — female nudes — she felt it was “too safe” and instead used her emotional distress to her advantage.

“I decided that I was going to take a picture every single day for the next 39 days of the best or most wonderful thing I saw, the thing that really moved me and touched me, to replace from my life those days that were horrible,” Thomas-Pomeroy said. “Then I’d have something to look back on from those 39 days that didn’t cause me so much heartache.”

With that framework in mind, she set out to find positivity in everyday life, chronicling moments that blocked negativity and brought joy. Whether it was a street sign from her trip to Huntington Beach, California, a bizarre-looking dog she saw on the street, or her musician friends, Thomas-Pomeroy followed her instincts.

The resulting show, 39 Days, is a collection of photography and mixed media. Comprised of primarily black-and-white photography shot using natural lighting, the exhibit is a culmination of Thomas-Pomeroy’s journey toward self-discovery.

“I could sit around and be sad about my personal life, but it seemed like I needed to find a way to learn how to redirect instead of holding onto negativity by turning it into a better, happier something,” she said. “It was my cheap way of counseling. At this point, I feel so much better than I’ve ever felt before.”

With those tumultuous 39 days behind her, Thomas-Pomeroy’s story looks like it’s finally headed toward a happy chapter.

Print headline: Creative rebirth, Wendy Thomas-Pomeroy’s 39 Days documents the artist’s journey of self-discovery and finding joy.

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