CONTACT LAURI: [email protected]
Lauri M. Bridgeforth, // Professional Photographer // Bridgeforth Photographics // 1st Vice President for ShenArts as well as ArtScape Chair // Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and an Associates degree with concentrations in photography from Shepherd University.
What does ShenArts mean to you?
Having been a professional photographer in Winchester, VA for almost 33 years, I’m used to working with clients and photographing people, places and things for specific needs. That said, the artist in me still thrives, and I do a fair amount of photography “just because” and it gets posted to my social media outlets with the hashtag #whatlaurisees. Any opportunity to engage, support, educate and encourage area artists is always welcome, and ShenArts has given me countless opportunities to do so. When I first joined this board, my focus was board member recruitment. Knowing that I’ve assisted bringing on several businesspeople to our board with vastly different talents, networks, contacts and personalities to help our organization move forward is pretty satisfying. Making creative connections through ShenArts has enabled me to display my work in several area exhibits, as well as make good business connections. As one of the 3 original people who “hatched” the ArtScape banner program, it’s gratifying to encourage other artists of all media and skill levels to enter their work and be recognized for their talents.
Why are you passionate about serving this community?
It is absolutely a “must” to give back to a community that has been good to you. With a degree in photography, I never thought I’d wind up staying here, but I met a cute redhead at church one Sunday and that was that. Decades later here we are—my husband and I have raised our kids and built businesses here, and we both find ways to give back and nurture a community that has most certainly nurtured us both personally and professionally. I’ve also served the community as a former chair of Winchester’s Old Town Development Board (now the Old Town Action Committee), and I’m currently Vice Chair of Winchester’s Economic Development Authority. Shhhhhh…don’t tell anybody but of these other tasks, serving ShenArts has been the most fun.