(February 27, 2014)

Centenary announces opening exhibit, convocation "It's What You Make of It, A Celebration of Life"

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary's Magale Library will host Dr. Bennet Sewell's exhibit "It's What You Make of It, A Celebration of Life" through March. A companion discussion focused on how life is a struggle between serving Self and Society will take place Tuesday, March 11, at 11:00 a.m. Both the exhibit and discussion are free and open to the public.

Bennett Sewell

"It's What you Make of It" is based on interviews Dr. Sewell completed with 24 individuals over the age of 75. Sewell asked people to share their life experiences, prompting them with questions such as What was it like growing up during the Great Depression? What was your working life like? Where are you presently? What are your hardships and joys? Photos of the participants, captured by photographer Brian Lewis, are also included in the exhibit.

Sewell's text accompanying the exhibit focuses on the preciousness of life:

"We are born, live a little while, and then die. We are all so unique. Maybe the only thing we have in common when we begin is the desire for life. The purpose of this project is to celebrate life, to bring us together as humans, regardless of economic status, ethnicity, gender or faith, and to share our experiences with you as a payback for that which we were given."

In developing this project, Sewell found it interesting that all of the people he interviewed seemed to realize the importance of tenacity, gratitude, and interpersonal relationships in their lives.

"These stories are about living, a slice of the human experience," said Sewell. "Specifically, it is about being 75 years of age or older today. Life, among other things, is a challenge, a struggle with at least three parts, to learn how to do things and make a living, to learn how to love and balance your needs and aspirations with other, and to prepare for the end. To do this, we only have the same emotions, joy, fear, anger, love, and sadness used in different degrees as we age. Our belief systems that guide us in our every action and that have been with us for a long time may also change."

Sewell is a retired pathologist and lives with his wife, Sheri Childs, in Shreveport.

Sewell's exhibit will be available for viewing in Magale Library's lobby during regularly scheduled library hours through March. For more information about the exhibit, contact Librarian Kristi Kohl at 318.869.5058 or visit Magale Library online.