The year is 2002. The trip is a cruise around Cape Horn. The camera is a Pentax film camera. This is how it began. Coming home
from this trip, Patricia Gilman showed her pictures to her friend, a photographer who she very much admired. Her friend said, “you have a really good eye for composition, you should take this more seriously.” So she did.
Patricia has had many jobs in her life. She produced industrial shows for a while, owned a kitchen supply store, worked for a couple of SUNY colleges as a grants coordinator. Her career, however, was as a fund raiser. She has a Masters degree in Non Profit Management, and worked at this for 10 years. When she retired (for the first time) from fund raising in 1993, she started a sales promotion firm, then moved to working in retail, temped for a while and ended up as a broker’s assistant in a large commercial real estate company. Second retirement came in 2001 and so did a new life. Photography.
She had always been interested in art, she painted frequently moving from oils to acrylics to water colors.
This would become an interesting inclusion in her photography. In 2002 she also bought her first digital camera. A Fuji 4800. As her photography grew so did her cameras, moving to Pentax then to Nikon, and finally to Sony for their mirrorless camera, A6000. But at the time, digital was new to the market, so easy to use and no more film to carry around.
Travel became a different animal now that she had her camera. Photography became a reason to travel and travel became a reason to take pictures. But there had to be more, so in 2003 she began volunteering one day a week at the American Museum of Natural History and has been there ever since.
Looking for courses at the local JCC, Patricia happened on an organization called Senior Net. They teach computers to seniors and are always looking for volunteers to teach the courses. She joined, taught for a few years and eventually spent two years as coordinator of the program.
To piggy back on her interest in photography, she joined the Professional Women Photographers group, a not for profit organization dedicated to helping women photographers learn and advance their craft. She sat on the board for 9 years doing all kinds of projects, the newsletter, Imprints; Student Awards program; a New Members exhibition, along with many other projects.
Not one to sit still very long, in 2011 she decided, at the encouragement of another friend, to get her real estate license and has been selling real estate for almost 5 years. Next step in that is obtaining her broker’s license.
Patricia has just started a blog, “What to Do When You’ve Nothing to Do”. It is directed toward retirees or soon to be retirees who need some direction as they approach retirement. The website is retirementcanbefun.blogspot.com. Living in New York, there is so much to do to keep busy and many, many things that are free or low cost.
And finally, in 2012, she and her business partner, Maddi Ring, decided to start a company that afforded photographers an opportunity to exhibit their work in a New York City gallery, New York Center for Photographic Art. They do this through competitions, information at NYC4PA.com. ,In 2015 they added Photo Travel Tours to their business model. Their first trip was just completed – to Greenland and Iceland – and was a complete success. Next on the agenda is Bolivia in the spring of 2016.
So, who is this person, Patricia Gilman? She is a multifaceted, multitasking, theater loving individual. She has a daughter and son, Jennifer and Jason, and a wonderful daughter in law, Michelle, and four incredible grandchildren. The lights of her life. She enjoys life, but also, and very importantly, enjoys the peace and quiet of being alone; reading a book, watching TV, maybe even painting, working on her photographs.
This fall, in November, she is having her first solo show at the Jadite Gallery in New York, showing her photographs from Iceland and Greenland, check out her website, http://www.patriciagilmanstudio.com .
Photos of Patricia by Lita Riddick
Other photos by Patricia Gilman