Lucille as a young woman

Carolyn Beller

chowbeller@yahoo.com 847 989-6819 United States

Biography

Carolyn grew up in Alabama at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Her father was a lawyer who smelled like Doublemint gum and cigarettes and looked like Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. In fact, he had been close friends with Harper Lee since their days together at the University of Alabama. Carolyn’s mother played bridge on Tuesdays and Fridays and the rest of the week she worked tirelessly organizing ways to smuggle black market goods into the former Soviet Union so “refuseniks” could buy visas out of the country.

Growing up among the sweltering romanticism of the deep south; the historical changes in black America; and the international intrigue of Soviet politics and peoples whose lives could depend on a new pair of Levi jeans, Carolyn developed a passionate curiosity about people and the world....the things that made us different but, most importantly, the emotions that made us the same. She is a self described voyeur and recalls evenings riding in the back of the family Buick and looking into windows of people living their lives. People framed in golden lit rectangles surrounded by indigo just before the sky went black..... fleeting snapshots of strangers whose lives she longed to know more about. She remembers hot summer days under a fan on the porch pouring over old copies of National Geographic....longing to know these people and the places they lived. Many years later Carolyn would (and still does) travel extensively in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. The people who once were only images framed within the pages of a magazine became real...became part of her life. It was only natural that Carolyn would eventually use a camera to frame moments of people’s lives just as she had always done. She documents the emotions and actions that make us individuals but also connect us to the rest of humanity.