same same, but different

Bringing home the rice; Ban NaKaang, Laos, 2008

Coming January 29, 2010:

First Light Studios presents “Same Same, but Different”, a solo photography exhibit of the work of Lance Terry, a Randolph native who has traveled extensively in southeast Asia. From 5:30 ’til 8:30 Friday night, sixty of Lance’s prints will be on display and available for purchase by donation to benefit earthquake relief in Haiti.

To see an online gallery and order prints, follow this link: firstlight.zenfolio.com/lanceterry

Below is the article from Thursday’s Herald of Randolph.

A Compassionate Eye

A unique photographic exhibit this weekend by Randolph native Lance Terry will turn his own Southeast Asian humanitarian quest into an opportunity to help vicims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Terry’s striking images, taken during travels in Laos in 2008, will be on display at First Light Studios on Pleasant Street this Friday, Jan. 29 and Saturday Jan. 30.

The more than 60 photographs in the exhibit will be given away in exchange for donations to Haitian relief. “Purchasers” can donate whatever amount they wish.

“First Light Gallery has provided all the printing and exhibition costs, so that 100% of each donation will go directly to immediate relief work in Haiti,” Terry explained.

The exhibit’s title is “Same Same But Different.”

Mekong leap; Don Khon, Laos, 2008

Terry, a Randolph native and RUHS graduate, received his degree in photojournalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Broadcasting and Telecommunication at Arizona State University in 1995. His mentor, photojournalism department chair Frank Hoy, “saw something in me and my work I didn’t know or trust when I started out,” Terry said. “He really took me under his wing, encouraged me, boosting my confidence.”

In the 15 years since university, Terry has pursued a bit of everything. He was a substitute teacher at RUHS; a reporter for The Herald of Randolph; a picture framer on Maui; a freelance photojournalist and wedding photographer in Arizona and Mexico; a waiter in Manhattan, Jackson, Wyoming, Kansas City, Cheltenham, England, and Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. He worked for a non-profit outside Washington, D.C., and edited a food magazine in England.

Through all these changes, Terry kept chronicling life through his lens, so that his photographs are a remarkable record of his personal journey.

Off to Alaska

“Four years ago, I decided to ‘throw it all up’ and move to Alaska,” he relates. “I wanted my life to be less about work and where I lived and what car I drove, and more about doing what I really wanted to do.” For four years, that was pretty much back-country skiing, mountain biking, rafting, hiking, camping and fishing. The photography remained a constant.

In 2008, Terry left Alaska for three months and traveled to Southeast Asia. The photo-journalism side of him wanted to photograph Laos.

“Laos (pronounced lao by native speakers) is the most heavily bombed country on the planet,” he explained. “More bombs were dropped on Laos by the U.S. during our secret war there from 1964 to 1973 than during all of World War II by every nation in the European, Pacific and African theaters combined. I wanted to go to see the country and to give something back.”

Terry admits, too, that there were deeper, personal reasons motivating his trip to Laos.

“My younger brother, Jake, committed suicide in early 2008. After he was gone, I came to the realization that living for myself wasn’t enough. It wasn’t fulfilling.

“After Jake was gone, I needed to make a positive difference in the life of one person. A life for a life.”

Federal stimulus checks were handed out in 2008, and Terry was determined to use that money for good. He flew to Hanoi, traveled by bus and boat for three days deep into Laos, and then walked five miles through mud-slick jungle and rice paddy to the village of Ben Na Kaang.

Giving Back

There he met a six-year-old orphaned boy, Sahn, being raised by his grandparents. Just $180 is needed to take care of Sahn for one year. Terry gave that sum to Sahn’s family. When he left, he promised he would return a year later.

“I spent the next year raising money by selling photographs from the first trip,” Terry said. Taking the profits from the prints he sold, $815, he did return. In 2009, he stayed for two months and volunteered, at the villagers’ request, to teach English to the children.

Once again, Sahn’s family was given the gift of one year’s support. With the remainder, Terry sought to help the village with the education of their young. Supplies were purchased for the school; the good work of the teachers was recognized with a grant of one month’s salary, $40, to each; and finally, a grant equaling 80% of a year’s tuition was given to the parents of each child in the school.

“For the education I’ve received, I couldn’t be more thankful. I want to give that gift back in every way I can,” Terry said.

A skiing accident in April 2008 left Terry’s right femur snapped in two places. Surgery in Alaska permitted his second trip to southeast Asia last summer, but by fall, it was evident his leg wasn’t healing properly. Repeat surgery at Dartmouth on December 30 has meant long hours of bed rest at his father’s Braintree Hill home.

Three weeks ago, Terry’s current work was viewed by Herald photographer Bob Eddy. Quickly, plans were made for a show at Eddy’s First Light Studios in Randolph.

In response to the earthquake in Haiti, First Light and Terry are donating the prints of the exhibit to those motivated to make a contribution toward Haitian relief.

“We hope that the turnout for the opening is huge, because we want to give all the prints away,” smiled Bob Eddy.

The show will be open two days only, Friday, Jan. 29 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 2.

Before the opening, Terry’s works may be viewed online at www.FirstLight.zenfolio.com/lanceterry.

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