It’s unusual for a town of 28,000 be able to boast that nearly one quarter of one percent of its populace identifies as a supermodel. Wellesley can boast just that, and my co-editor Bob Brown and I are just two of over 60 pin-up types who sashay around town daily, knowing full well that we can strike a pose with the best of them. How do we know? Because we have.
It all started with photographer Beth Shedd and a big idea. She says, “I’ve lived in Wellesley for over 30 years and during that time I’ve met some truly wonderful people. Each person has an interesting story to tell, and I love hearing them all.”
So from January 2018 through February 2019, each Wednesday Shedd featured a photograph of someone in Wellesley and the story behind that person and posted it on her Instagram account. Here are just a few Wellesley residents who struck a pose for Shedd, then told her a little about themselves: author Liz Suneby; Berna Ozargun, owner of Wellesley’s Café Mangal; John and Dwin Schuller, raised in Wellesley, married since 1954, and dedicated community servants; Turkey Trot organizer and cancer survivor Carol Chaoui; Wellesley Dental’s Dr. Ejaz Ali and Dr. Femina Ali; animal control officer Sue Webb; Wellesley Free Librarian Joelle Toussaint, now deceased; and Santa Claus himself.
It wasn’t long before her Instagram account was getting mad love. Most people would have felt pretty good at raking in the kind of Insta likes that each of Shedd’s posts racked up, but she tends to bump things up a notch. The Insta project morphed into a photography exhibit at the Wellesley Free Library, on display through October, at which every one of Shedd’s Wellesley Wednesday photos and accompanying biographies is framed. She chose a newspaper-style layout and and a simple black frame for each of the 60 Wellesley Wednesdays entries. The result: crisp, clean, uncluttered, like all of Shedd’s work.
Conquer the Insta world. Check. Hold an art exhibition. Check. Did you know that Shedd also throws great parties? And…check. She invited every one of her muses to a reception at the library, along with their hangers-on and anyone else who simply wanted to bask in the presence of so many sought-after photographic subjects.
But really, at the party we all had just one burning desire. To stand next to Beth’s fire.