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Till Death Do Us Part

Arts Fort Worth

Arts Fort Worth will host its First Friday reception for Till Death Do Us Part, a new exhibition by local photographer, Becky Wilkes, on June 3 from 6-9 pm. The exhibition will be on view in the Hays Gallery through July 30, 2022.  

Till Death Do Us Part shares the tender and mature relationship between two 89-year-olds reconnected following near death experiences. Wilkes asks “If you believed that you only had two weeks left to live with your partner, how would you choose to spend your final days together?”  

After 67 years of marriage, COVID created an untenable situation for Wilkes’ parents. “Mom” was recovering from a recent stroke and was discharged to live independently. “Dad” suffered from congestive heart failure and was newly placed on hospice within the same facility several impossibly long hallways apart. When lockdowns eliminated their children’s participation in their care and illuminated systemic failures, Wilkes, with the help of her siblings, moved them to their home in Azle, TX. 
Upon arrival, “Dad” weighed 106# at 6’1” and “Mom” struggled to stand from a seated position. It was touch and go for a few weeks, but slowly they both saw recovery as a possibility. Newly reunited, Wilkes discovered her parents devotion to one another. Rarely were they separated more than a few feet. They moved as one unit canvassing the driveway, hallway, and property with their walkers, often spooning one another as they slept.

Wilkes shares, “Seldom are we privileged to witness the final journey of love between our parents in intimate detail.  Although I had been in regular and significant contact with my parents throughout their lives, nothing could have prepared me for the transformation that I was to witness, not only in their health and mental state, but also their relationship with each other and my relationship with them. Almost immediately, I began photographing what we all knew were their final days together. Unexpectedly, their final days stretched to almost a year. ” 

International photography consultant, J. Sybylla Smith, worked with Wilkes to curate this exhibition into a heartrending love story from hundreds of her photographs.
Becky Wilkes lives with her husband on Eagle Mountain Lake in Azle, TX. Educated as a Chemical Engineer at Texas A&M, she spent much of her life as a stay-at-home mother of four children who have blessed them with 14 grandchildren. Wilkes’ trash photography, Ditched, has been widely exhibited throughout the Unites States and most recently at the Lishui Photography Festival, China.  She will be in the gallery during the Artist Reception June 3rd.  Wilkes website www.beckywilkesphotography.com 

Arts Fort Worth is located on 1300 Gendy Street, Fort Worth TX 76107. Galleries are open Monday through Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (817) 738-1938   www.artsfortworth.org 

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