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Portrait project helping Boulder heal after King Soopers shooting

More than 20 people have participated in the project. The exhibit will be on display at the Museum of Boulder.

BOULDER, Colo. — Nine months after a shooter killed 10 people at a King Soopers, Boulder is still recovering. A portrait project is trying to capture how the tragedy changed the community. 

The photographer, Ross Taylor, is partnering with the Museum of Boulder for an exhibit.

“I think there is power and strength in saying we were here during this time and providing some visual record of those who were here,” Taylor said.

Taylor is an associate professor at the University of Colorado. He was also a photojournalist for more than 20 years. With great care and compassion, he's partnering with the museum on a project that is helping the community heal.

For the project, he’s taking pictures of people who had some intersection with the shooting at King Soopers.

“I felt it was a little incomplete just to photograph the week after, and I felt like at least with my experience, in some small way, could add to the conversation of healing,” he said. “I felt like now is a good time to do it as we lead up to the one-year anniversary.”

Taylor said the exhibit will be on display at the Museum of Boulder in the spring.

His photo sessions are a form of healing for this community. A wide range of people are part of this archive, from therapists to grocery store employees.

“You certainly see the rippling effect of a difficult event and how it has such a profound effect on our community,” he said.

This is a way to ease their pain.

“Pain deserves to be felt,” Donaven Smith said. “It demands to be felt, but we don’t have to do it alone.”

Smith works at the Boulder Strong Resource Center. He helps direct neighbors to a variety of resources, like mental health services and housing.

“I think that’s what this project is really about. It is showing we are not alone in this,” he said. “I think there is value in being heard and being seen.”

Many of the photo sessions happen at the Boulder Strong Resource Center.

“That is by design,” Taylor said. “People are already here. They feel safe and valued. It is a place that is trusted.”

The center offers more than just mental health therapy. Art groups, walking groups and acupuncture are some of the many services the facility provides to help people process grief and trauma.

The #BoulderStrong Resource Center is located at 2935 Baseline Road, and is available by phone at 303-545-0844.

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