In December 2004, I traveled to New Orleans and photographed a series entitled “Symbols of Hope,” which includes images of cemetery angels, old churches and crosses. After Katrina, I was constantly asked if these symbols of hope were still standing. I didn’t know if they were, so this spring I decided to again travel to New Orleans to see first hand for myself and for my customers.

I revisited the locations I had photographed previously; I saw the angels, churches and crosses still standing. But as I went beyond these locations, I saw a community devastated. The experience of Katrina, described by New Orleans resident, Donn Peabody, now living in Dallas, is “ … I have to tell you that it is very hard at first, living in Dallas, away from all the pain my city was feeling, and it still is. It wasn’t until my first visit back home that everything hit me all at once. The love and respect for New Orleans is unending; of course, it took time for me ‘to leave home to love home.’ I saw what everyone else saw – and more, but in the midst of it all, I saw the beauty that is still there: New Orleans is a city of love, music, family and hope. You still see someone with a smile on their face because there is a feeling of warmth that sits in the soul of the city…”

The city still sees the hope of tomorrow. Hope is standing because hope is patient. Hope is a passion for what is possible. Hope is willing to stay with us now, and assure us of the possibility of what lies ahead. Hope is hearing the beautiful song of the future.

New Orleans Collection
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In a city of devastation...
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