Devoted fans come to Portales for alumnus’ art work

Photo by Nicole Trujillo

Stephanie DeFranco, center, throws her hands up in excitement during her Runnels Gallery Reception for her photography exhibit called “Motion Captured.” “I’ve never seen my prints this big; it’s awesome,” said DeFranco.

Guests traveled all the way from Roswell in anticipation of the artwork of Stephanie DeFranco, an alumnus of Eastern New Mexico University.

These bright-eyed and astounded guests admired her photography hanging in the Runnels Gallery during a Sept. 28 reception for her exhibition “Motion Captured.”

Faculty, staff, students and members of the public joined together to honor DeFranco’s artwork. Guests of the reception enjoyed sandwiches and cake while mingling with other event goers.

Some guests traveled farther then others to view the highly anticipated work.

Gillian McFadin traveled from Roswell to view DeFranco’s artwork.

McFadin is only 13 years old and has been dancing since kindergarten.

McFadin and DeFranco met about five years ago when DeFranco took senior pictures of McFadin’s older sister. The McFadin family fell in love with DeFranco’s work, and she became their family photographer.

DeFranco singled out McFadin to be her model for some of her dance inspired photographs, and the water themed photographs hanging in the Runnels

Gallery came to life.

“Overall, the collection is very balanced and thought out. I really like the diversity of the pieces; we need diversity in our world. I also think DeFranco seems like a very humble person,” said event-goer Angelica Casteel.

Another one of DeFranco’s models showed up to the reception to congratulate her on a huge accomplishment.

Kate McDonald also traveled from Roswell to view DeFranco’s photographs.

McDonald, 16, has been dancing since she was 11 years old. She was a prior gymnast before taking on the passion for dancing. She is the model for DeFranco’s carnival themed dance photos.

DeFranco said she and McDonald had planned to do the photographs one afternoon, but the weather was not playing in their favor; it had been raining all day.

“I texted Kate and told her I didn’t think we would be able to do the photos, because it was so ugly outside,” said DeFranco.

But Kate insisted on getting the photos done, said DeFranco. They did the photoshoot anyway, and DeFranco said the outcome of the photos was more than she could have imagined.

“I’ve never seen my prints this big, and honestly, it’s amazing. I’m still so honored to have my own gallery. Its so awesome!” said Defranco.

DeFranco’s photography work will remain in The Runnels Gallery until Oct. 19.

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