August 12, 2015

Positive Exposure Photographic Exhibit of People with Intellectual Disabilities to Premiere in Rochester at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography

Portraits to be Shot in Rochester by Noted Photographer Rick Guidotti August 17 and 18 – Exhibit Runs October 2 through October 18

As part of its 30th Anniversary Celebration, the Golisano Foundation has commissioned a series of photographic works of people with intellectual disabilities by renowned photographer Rick Guidotti.

Photographer Rick GuidottiThe exhibition, entitled Positive Exposure – Change How You See, See How You Change, will feature 20 original portraits of people from the Rochester region who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Guidotti will be in Rochester to shoot the portraits at George Eastman House on August 17 and 18.

The exhibition will premiere at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography October 2-18 and will also include a collection from Guidotti’s main Positive Exposure Exhibition, which premiered at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC and continues to exhibit in galleries, museums and public arenas internationally. Admission will be free.

For 15 years Guidotti’s passion has been to show the humanity and beauty of people living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral differences. The award-winning former fashion photographer is the founder and director of Positive Exposure, a NYC-based non-profit arts, education and advocacy organization that explores the social and psychological experiences of people.

Foundation Director Ann Costello“There is so much beauty in human diversity. What people see or don’t see in others often makes a big difference in whether or not someone is included or ignored,” said Ann Costello, Director of the Golisano Foundation.  “We hope that people will change howthey see people and are changed in the process. Then we hope they will take a step further and be inspired to see abilities not just disabilities, be more inclusive and compassionate, and help make our world one that celebrates differences.”

Guidotti says his photos “Give people the permission to see beauty and interpret beauty in their own right – not to see beauty that is dictated by industry’s ideas of what is acceptable.  What started with photographs, has now grown into a wide variety of programs created to empower people living with difference – and to educate the world around them.”

Golisano Foundation Celebrates 30 Years of Helping People with Intellectual Disabilities

The Golisano Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, was established in 1985 by Tom Golisano, the founder and Chairman of Paychex. For 30 years the Foundation has opened doors, changed perceptions, and forged partnerships to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with pathways to self-sufficiency, personal dignity, and the best possible expression of their abilities and talents throughout their lifetimes.

Anniversary Celebration Highlights

  • Preview Positive Exposure Reception October 1 – The 30th Anniversary Celebration kicks off with a preview reception of the Positive Exposure photographic exhibition with Guidotti at George Eastman House for portrait subjects, their families and others in the community.
  • Positive Exposure Exhibit Opens to the Public October 2 through October 18 in the Projects Gallery – George Eastman House is located at 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607 and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM to 5 PM and Sunday from 11 AM to 5 PM. Admission to the Positive Exposure Exhibition is free of charge. Should guests wish to visit the rest of the museum admission is $14 for adults, $12 for senior, $5 for students with valid ID and free for museum members and children 12 and under. For more information about George Eastman House visit or call (585) 271-3361
  • Anniversary Reception and Move to Include Awards Are October 15th  – The Golisano Foundation will host its anniversary reception at George Eastman House and present its first ever Move to Include Awards at the Dryden Theatre recognizing individuals and organizations that have led the way in demonstrating inclusion.  Move to Include is an initiative of the Golisano Foundation and WXXI promoting inclusion for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Rick Guidotti’s Positive Exposure

Rick Guidotti is a former fashion photographer who has worked for clients such as Yves Saint Laurent, Elle, and Harpers Bazaar. He has spent the last 15 years working to affect a sea change in societal attitudes towards individuals living with genetic differences.  His work has been widely published in the world’s leading newspapers, magazines and journals including Elle, GQ, People, the American Journal of Medical Genetics, The Lancet, Spirituality and Health, the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly and Life Magazine.

Rick Guidotti’s Positive Exposure photo and video presentation explores the social and psychological experiences of people living with genetic, physical, cognitive and behavioral conditions of all ages and ethno-cultural heritages.  Positive Exposure provides new opportunities to see individuals living with a genetic difference first and foremost as a human being with his/her own challenges rather than as a specific diagnosis/disease entity.

Guidotti’s work is also the focus of the new film On Beauty, which recently premiered to rave reviews in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere around the country. In the film, director Joanna Rudnick followed Guidotti, who grew tired of seeing the same ideal of beauty “spit up at us constantly.” Disillusioned by the industry, in a moment of serendipity, Guidotti walked by a young woman with Albinism (a genetic condition that results in loss of pigmentation in the hair and eyes) at a NYC bus stop, and wondered why she wasn’t considered beautiful in his other world. This exploration resulted in a show-stopping magazine spread for Life Magazinefeaturing young women with Albinism smiling out from under the headline “Redefining Beauty.”

Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the United States devoted exclusively to supporting programs for people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1985 with an initial gift of $90,000 from B. Thomas Golisano, the founder and Chairman of Paychex, the Foundation now has more than $32 million in gross assets and has awarded more than $19.5 million in grants, about $1.5 million annually, to non-profit organizations in a multi-county region surrounding Rochester, New York that serve people with developmental disabilities. Through targeted initiatives, it is our vision that communities will encourage and commit to inclusion, acceptance and opportunity for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and provide services that empower individuals to make their way productively and creatively in their communities.
For more information visit

George Eastman House

George Eastman Museum holds unparalleled collections, totaling more than four million objects, of photographs, motion pictures, cameras and technology, and photographically illustrated books. Established as an independent nonprofit institution in 1947, it is the world’s oldest photography museum and third largest film archive in the United States. The museum is located in Rochester, NY, on the National Historic Landmark estate of George Eastman, the innovator of popular photography and motion picture film.

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