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How would you react to a compliment? Photo exhibit shows us how

Photograph by Graham Washatka from his series, "Something nice."
Photograph by Graham Washatka from his series, “Something Nice.”

APPLETON — Do you know how you’d react of you were surprised with a compliment? Photographer Graham Washatka was curious, too.

What began as a photography project in November during the “Take Me to the River” art exhibit at the Grand Kakalin in Kaukauna will be featured during a gallery opening April 7, 2017, in Appleton.

An opening for Washatka’s “Something Nice,” takes place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 7, 2017, at The Draw, 800 S. Lawe St., Appleton.

The idea is simple. one person compliments another and Washatka photographs their reaction.

Washatka began the project during the “Take me to the River” exhibit in Kaukauna, where he was one of the featured artists.

He had subjects write their compliment on a piece of glass, and the person being complimented had to wait to read it until the photograph was taken.

Elizabeth Mellenthin and her daughter, Sherry Fox, had their photographs taken early in the project and were featured in a piece by Fox 11.

“I’m adopted and I’m so thankful everyday that God gave me her as my mom. So this was a wonderful gift,” said Mellenthin of her mother.

“I just wanted to share this experience with her and tell her in front of the whole world how much she means to me and how proud I am of her,” said Fox of her daughter.

Washatka said the compliments reveal things about the subjects that maybe they didn’t even realize.

“It’s amazing that you can appreciate another person so much, but never, or rarely,  voice it,” Washatka saidl “Without voicing it the appreciation can go unknown. Letting those emotions and thoughts out can let the other person know how much they mean to you and how much good they’re doing by being themselves.”

The exhibit runs through April 28, 2017.

Photograph by Graham Washatka from his series, "Something nice."
Photograph by Graham Washatka from his series, “Something Nice.”
Photograph by Graham Washatka from his series, "Something nice."
Photograph by Graham Washatka from his series, “Something Nice.”

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Dan Plutchak
Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.
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