March, 2021

Dear Nieves & Connor,

Thank you for inviting me to make this portrait of you—I love that I’m able to pair this image with the portrait we made on your wedding day. I hope we keep adding portraits the collection as our years of friendship continue to accumulate.

Nieves, can you believe it’s been more than a decade since we first met? I love thinking about that time in our lives, the effortless and endless fun amongst our group of friends. I always thought of us as two of a kind in that group—a couple of misplaced southwest orphans kindly absorbed by the Smithies. That was the first time in my life I truly felt a sense of love and wholehearted acceptance within a community.

I felt the absence acutely when our friends began to move away one by one, and I’ve been chasing that sense of community ever since they started to leave.

Although recently I’ve come to realize I’ve had that community here all along. I’ve realized my community is vast, supportive and loving. It doesn’t look anything like it did in our twenties but it exists, and it has the strength and stability that only comes with time.

Making this portrait for you and Connor was part of this realization—that I still have community here, that it is strong and vibrant (even when there is distance).

Thanks for continuing to be an integral part of my community. Thanks for showing up in all different ways you have over the years. Thanks for always being kind, receptive, and generous. Thanks for inviting me to make this portrait of you & your loved ones.

With love and gratitude,
Candace
Nieves, Connor, & Roscoe | Northampton, MA | December 2020


Nieves & Connor on their wedding day | Sunderland, MA | August 2014