World-renowned photography exhibit opens at Creighton’s Lied Art Gallery

An award-winning photography exhibit that embraces human diversity is on display in Omaha right now.
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 5:40 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The internationally recognized photography exhibit “Positive Exposure” is on display at Creighton University’s Lied Art Gallery.

The exhibit is by Rick Guidotti, a photographer who started out in high-end fashion in New York City, Milan, and Paris until his passion shifted. Guidotti said, “As an artist, I refused to see beauty only on covers of magazines.”

Over time, Guidotti developed an interest in people with medical conditions and began looking at medical textbooks.

“When I went to those medical textbooks, I found terrifying images,” Guidotti said. “I found images of kids in doctor’s offices usually naked or in their underwear with those black bars across their eyes, and that’s how I committed initially to ‘We’re going to change that.”

Eventually, Guidotti founded Positive Exposure, a non-profit that promotes inclusivity through photography, film, and education.

“What we’re doing is we’re creating opportunities to work with communities and individuals at risk of stigma and exclusion to celebrate the beauty and richness of human diversity,” said Guidotti.

Guidotti travels from city to city around the world, presenting exhibits that focus on people with different diseases and genetic disorders.

Hayden Sommer of Omaha is one of 17 Nebraskans featured in the exhibit at the Lied Art Gallery. Sommer has Phelan McDermid Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes medical, intellectual, and behavioral challenges.

His mother, Heidi Sommer says though the disability is trying, her son is a blessing.

“I feel like he has taught us more about life than anything ever could,” Sommer said.

Her philosophy is similar to Guidotti’s: change how you see; see how you change.

“We all have the exact same needs: a need to be seen, a need to be heard, a need to be loved, a need to belong,” Guidotti said. “Simple.”

The Positive Exposure exhibit will be on display at the Lied Art Gallery through October 6th, 2023.