Jude Gassaway, of Edgewater, Colorado, has collected items that fascinate her as far back as she can remember. Now, in her seventies, Jude literally surrounds herself with these collections. To see Jude out in the field–finding a seemingly random object alongside a country road–is to catch a glimpse of her character. But to enter into her home and start a deeper conversation about sexual identity allows us to know her–and the art of collecting–on a more profound level.
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Jude Gassaway is a retired geologist who roamed the grounds of the American West for decades, gleaning all sorts of unique objects. Now, sifting through the collections that fill her home, she reflects on how collecting helped her come out of the closet in her 40s.
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I am highly influenced by National Public Radio’s “StoryCorps,” a series that encourages real people to open up and tell stories of vital importance–stories that they typically keep private in day-to-day life. So, what I sought in producing this short documentary is to have an interesting person open up and share a unique personal story. It’s a story that can be communicated visually and that, ultimately, invites us in to her essence.