A Time To Heal

A Time To Heal is a project that utilizes photography and words that share the journey of vastly different people. The views of the people that have participated may or may not be the same as mine or yours. Still, A Time To Heal intends to encourage constructive conversations related to difficult topics, such as the Covid-19 Pandemic, Racism, the LGBTQIA community, and more.

I am a child of the ’60s. I watched my parent’s reactions as the world as they knew it unraveled. My mother wept uncontrollably when President Kennedy was assassinated. I was only three, but the image of her sitting on the steps leading to our upstairs, face in her hands, and body shaking, is still vivid today. The civil rights movement was disturbing to my parents. Not because they were opposed, but because they did not understand why folks had to fight so hard to have the same rights as others. To them, people were people.

My father cursed at the television nightly. The topics varied but were most often related to draft dodgers, Vietnam War Protesters, Rock & Roll, Hippies, and the feminist movement. Later in life, my father admitted that he was wrong about Vietnam, draft dodgers, and parts of the feminist movement.

We learned as a nation that all things were possible when the first man walked upon the moon, yet feared a nuclear war with the Soviet Union to the point of encouraging citizens to build their bomb shelters in their homes. At school, children practiced duck and cover drills and given dog tags. The student name, address, and the letter P, C, or J. Religious affiliation, Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish, was listed to ensure the proper burial of victims of a nuclear strike.

So what does the social revolution in the 1960s have to do with an artistic endeavor and exhibit in 2020? Absolutely everything. Peace, love, and unity filled the airwaves in the late 1960s. Pop songs such as All You Need Is Love, What The World Needs Now (is Love Sweet Love), and Get Together touched my heart. The lyrics, combined with my deep faith in God, led me to believe that love can heal all wounds. 

The United States is once again at a point of extreme unrest. We are more divided today than ever, and a social revolution has begun. When people feel unheard, marginalized, oppressed, or unsafe for long, revolution is inevitable. A Time To Heal will introduce viewers and readers to people they might never meet in their community. I hope that by getting to know one another, we can begin healing conversations that will peacefully close the chasm that divides us and that one day we can honestly say, We The People, and genuinely mean it.

A Time to Heal, the exhibit, was originally held at City Center Arts in Muskegon, Michigan, during September and October of 2020. Blog posts chronicling participants’ lives are posted on Facebook, this website, and links are attached to photos on https://www.lakehousephoto.com/.

A Time to Heal can be seen during ArtPrize beginning September 18 through October 3, 2021. The exhibit will be located in the parking lot behind the Grand Rapids United Methodist Church.


Thanks to the following:

Renae Hesselink, owner of City Center Arts, and Laura Miller, City Center Arts Art Director. Thank you for believing in me and this project. The project would not have happened without you. http://citycenterarts.com/

Jamie Atkins, co-owner of RCP Artist Services located in Portland, Michigan. RCP Artist Services is not just a print shop. Jamie and the team are as interested in my success as their own. Jamie wears many hats. He is a teacher, advisor, collaborator, and friend. Thanks for always making my work look good! https://rcp-usa.com/ 

Eric Strand, Director of Worship, Music, and the Arts, at Grand Rapids United Methodist Church, for hosting A Time to Heal during Artprize. https://www.grandrapidsfumc.org/

To each of the participants for their willingness to share their personal journey. You are brave! 

Lastly, to my partner, JoLayne Morneau, for her love and support. The project began during the early days of the pandemic. Thus, none of us knew the risks that I might face as I interviewed and photographed participants. Still, she gave me her blessing to go out and create something great. 


Gail is the owner of Lakehouse Photo LLC and The Gratitude Project By Lakehouse Photo LLC. Learn more about Gail, The Gratitude Project, and her photography at the sites listed below. Additionally, Gail’s photography can be purchased from Lakehousephoto.com, City Center Arts in Muskegon, http://citycenterarts.com/, NCCA-Artplace in Fremont, http://www.ncca-artsplace.org/, Old School Artisan Market in Casnovia, https://www.facebook.com/Old-School-Artisan-Market-109836867529916/, or directly from the artist. 

Photography Website: https://www.lakehousephoto.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/livingatlakehouse/

The Gratitude Project: http://gratitudebylakehouse.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gratitude_by_lakehouse_photo/

2020© Gail Howarth, Living At The Lakehouse, and The Gratitude Project By Lakehouse Photo. The unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gail Howarth, Living At The Lakehouse, and The Gratitude Project By Lakehouse Photo, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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