Athol Daily News – Mitchell Grosky photography exhibit ‘travels the world’

ORANGE — Most residents of North Quabbin know Mitch Grosky as an educator, public servant, political activist and community volunteer. What they may not know is that he is also a world traveler and photographer. Through June, examples of his art can be seen at Stage on Main, 17 South Main St. in Orange in an exhibit titled “Globetrotting: Soliciting the World with Photographer Mitchell R. Grosky.”

About thirty people attended the opening of the exhibition on the afternoon of March 6th.

During the opener, Grosky took a few moments to speak with Athol Daily News.

“My wife and I started traveling on our 15th anniversary,” he said. “Before that, we had been to Montreal but hadn’t really traveled so we decided to take our first cruise. It was our first trip to the Caribbean.

“Then we sailed for a number of years, until we got a little jaded and said – as magnificent as it is – ‘Well, that’s all there is? ‘ So we decided to be adventurous and went to Alaska, and from Alaska, which we really enjoyed and felt that real sense of wonder for the first time, we said, “Let’s try Europe.”

Grosky said he and his wife Ann started saving money and started traveling every summer.

“We probably went to about 25 countries in Europe,” he continued. “We were fascinated. We were fascinated by the story. We were fascinated by people. We were amazed that everywhere we went people were so welcoming. If you made the effort to be kind and considerate, and especially if you made the effort to speak their language, they really seemed to appreciate it. We felt like we were welcomed with open arms. »

After several trips, the couple decided it was time to extend the time spent in various destinations to better appreciate the lands they visited. To that end, they signed up to travel with a tour group.

“At that time, we made our trip to Africa,” Grosky said. “It was about 14 days. It’s still the most amazing trip we’ve been on as it was almost like we were on another planet. Everything was almost otherworldly.

“We both loved it for two reasons. The first is that we absolutely adore animals. Second, the photography was amazing – both landscape and wildlife. The people were really warm, generous and willing to talk to us whenever they could.

Their next trip would have a spiritual impact on Grosky.

“We then went to Israel and Jordan. It was particularly moving for me because I come from a background where I was co-president of Temple Israel in Athol. Something everyone always says at New Year’s is, “Next year in Jerusalem.” So, I always said that, but it never seemed possible, and it never seemed like it would ever happen.

But it happened.

“So suddenly I was over there in Israel. Israel was absolutely amazing because we could split our time between Jewish sites and Christian sites, and that was really important to me and my wife. My wife is a Christian – we are a mixed marriage.

“For me, it was just as amazing to visit the area where Jesus had dragged his cross when he was crucified. It was amazing to go out to the Sea of ​​Galilee and imagine the Bible stories that are took place there, so it was sensational.

“But, being at the Western Wall and being able to write a prayer to leave in a crack in the wall was a kind of spiritual experience that I never thought I would have. When I was at the Western Wall, I also sang a song, “Jerusalem of Gold”, which caused a few people to come up and ask me if I wanted to put on the tefillin and say a prayer. I did, and it was extremely emotional.

Grosky said that of all the places he’s visited, it’s hard to pick a favorite.

“Tanzania and Kenya, Israel and Jordan, and China were all absolutely — the word ‘awesome’ is overused. I realized it was overused now, but it’s the kind of experiences that give you that feeling of awe.

“They are all my favorites for different reasons. Africa because of the unusual landscape and amazing wildlife. Israel because of spiritual ties. And China because it was extremely foreign to me. I knew very little. Most of what we saw was the highlights and beauty of China.

Grosky said a trip to Australia and New Zealand has been put on hold due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean the couple don’t have any travel plans. They will head north and west on their next trip for a visit to the Canadian Rockies.

More than 50 museum-quality photographic canvases are available for viewing at Stage on Main every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Many paintings are offered for sale.

Greg Vine can be contacted at [email protected]

Michael E. Marquez