After 8 months, my Senior Thesis, Raising Thomas, is done. Last night was the grand opening of NEXT at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which is the culmination of all the seniors thesis projects at the Corcoran. I do not know the exact numbers but close to 2,000 people showed up for the opening reception and party that was held in the gallery and it was spectacular!
Thank you to all the people who came out to see my project as well as all the other projects. It was so good to see everyone and I’m sorry I was not able to spend a lot of time with each of you but I am eternally grateful for each and everyone.
Now for the web debut of Raising Thomas! Let me know what you think in the comments!
Millions of parents each year begin their golden years when their children have left the house and moved on to begin new lives of their own. The parents rediscover the freedom they once had before children. When my brother Ben and I moved out, our youngest brother Tom remained at home. In many ways, Tom is a 12-year-old boy in a 22-year-old man’s body, because he is developmentally delayed. During the almost nine years Ben and I have been gone, my parents and Tom have formed a special relationship. This project is a portrait of that relationship.
When Tom turned 21, he had to leave the public education system and it became a struggle for my parents to fill his schedule and keep him busy. While Tom is dependent on my parents, he is also trying to find his own life. My parents worked hard to raise their children and now find themselves with a son who cannot move on the way Ben and I have. Tom’s dependence presents them with emotional, financial, and relational challenges that most parents do not face. While their situation is special, it is not unique; all parents of disabled children face not only the struggles of raising and caring for a child with disabilities, but the challenge of caring for their child as both the parents and the child grow older.
Shot, Produced, and Edited by Samuel Corum
Music by Kevin Macleod