Free portraits available for those short of funds


Colorado National Monument’s Visitor Center will be temporarily closed on TuesdayDec. 11 to allow for shutting down the main power supply in the visitor center as part of an electrical upgrade, and installation of a new fire suppression and alarm system.

The visitor center will reopen on Wednesday.

Visitors are invited to come to the visitor center daily to view exhibits, watch the two films, talk to a ranger, and hike the Canyon Rim Trail. Winter hours are 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Visit the park’s website at or call the park at 858-3617, ext. 364 for more information.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes far fewer are necessary to make a point. So, the mission of the annual, worldwide Help-Portrait is this:

1. Find someone in need.

2. Take their portrait.

3. Print their portrait.

4. Deliver their portrait.

Today, nearly 20 local photographers will volunteer their time to participate in an event whose purpose is so simple: Make a nice portrait — free of charge — for those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. The Grand Junction event will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mesa County Workforce Center, 2897 North Ave.

“This is our first time doing it in Grand Junction,” said photographer Shannon Gray, one of the event organizers. “Hopefully it will happen every year after this.”

Help-Portrait was founded by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart and this year is happening at more than 100 locations worldwide.

Gray said local event organizers posted fliers at shelters and food banks, but can’t anticipate how many people will come for their free portrait. No appointment is necessary and the event is open to families and individuals. She said printing services for the portrait were donated, and people will receive them before Christmas.

“I just really love what this is about,” Gray said.


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