Submitted to Easton Patch:
By day, Tim Morelli cared for people recovering from life-saving surgeries as a nurse in the transplant unit at the New York University Medical Center in New York City. But when the Xaverian Brothers High School graduate and former Holbrook, Massachusetts, resident wasn’t administering medicine and offering reassurance to anxious patients, he was roaming the world with his 35 mm cameras, taking black-and-white pictures of the places he loved.
A select group of Tim Morelli’s photographs will be exhibited in the Art Gallery at South Shore Dermatology Physicians, PC, 31 Roche Bros. Way, Suite 200, No. Easton, starting in October 2012. They represent a tiny fraction of the collection of images left behind by the talented young photographer who lost his battle with a rare form of lymphoma in 2007 at the age of 27.
That’s not to say that Morelli’s work has gone unnoticed. Even while Morelli was fighting for his life, he asked his parents to bring his film for processing to the renowned NYC photo lab favored by artists like Annie Leibovitz, James Nachtwey, and Gordon Parks. When lab owner James Megargee realized the quality of Morelli’s work, he and his late partner, Cornelia van der Linde, agreed to print some 500 of the photographs at cost – and offered to host a show of Morelli’s images in their MV Gallery of Photography.
“Mr. Megargee said they reminded him of when he was learning to do photography,” relates Morelli’s mother, Marianne. The Holbrook Public Library, where Marianne chairs the Board of Trustees, also hosted a showing of Tim’s photography in 2004.
Having an art gallery inside a medical office is an unusual practice, but one to which SSDP has committed. “Our Art Gallery was started when we opened our office in No. Easton in 2008,” explains Practice Manager Tina Botelho. “It gives local artists a place to display their work, and it provides our patients with a place to relax within the sometimes stressful circumstance of meeting with a doctor. Many patients tell us how much they look forward to seeing the art in our office during their visits with our dermatologists.” The plan to exhibit Morelli’s work arose out of Tim’s close friendship with Robert McKinnies, whose mother, Maria, is a nurse at SSDP.
With an inventory of images that numbers in the thousands, Marianne Morelli and her husband, Gerard, continue to seek ways to make Tim’s work accessible to the world. They started the website, www.timmorelli.com, and have posted samples of Tim’s black-and-white and color photos on it. The upcoming SSDP show will contain images from Tim’s travels in France, Italy, NYC, the American Southwest, and other locations. All of the pictures were taken with film, and some were developed by Tim himself.
Tim Morelli’s photography exhibit will remain on display at SSDP through March 2013. Proceeds from the sale of his photos will be donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where Tim was treated for his cancer. “Tim just really wanted people to enjoy his pictures,” his mother explains. “That was about the only thing he asked his brothers and sister to do. He was very proud of his pictures and he gave them to people that were special.”