Meet Smiley Pool, photojournalist/co-author of Through the White Door, a documentary photo project and exhibit that portrays the interconnected human experience of families affected by HIV/AIDS, at the VIP benefit for the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale. Tickets for the benefit are $25 per person. The exhibition, consisting of 40 poignant images from South Africa, Romania, North Carolina, Texas and beyond, depicts the life struggles and triumphs of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS captured by Pool from his inspirational book of the same name, runs at The Galleria from April 8 – 30.
The Through the White Door photography project by Pool spans over two decades following a remarkable group of people who faced the HIV/AIDS crisis head-on and saved a generation of children. The project began with two newspaper stories at the Houston Chronicle in the 1990s with the rest of the work completed on his vacation time for the 20 years that followed — around his staff photographer positions at the Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News. Over the years he continued to follow one of the first children in the world on a drug trial for highly active antiretroviral therapy until adulthood, and documented the formation and rise of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) from the organization’s inception in Texas to what it is today – the largest provider of care and treatment for HIV positive children in the world.
The project culminated with an oversized hardcover book with 212 pages of his photography. Text for the book was written by Jessica Johns Pool, his spouse, who is a writer specializing in health care. Together, TTWD is their way of sharing the stories of the extraordinary and inspirational people they have met along the way. Smiley Pool’s book Through the White Door with personalization and autographs will be available for purchase at the opening reception for $45. All proceeds will benefit World AIDS Museum and Educational Center.
In compliance with local and state health guidelines, guests attending the benefit opening reception at The Galleria, will be required to wear a mask and practice safe social distancing of six feet apart. The opening reception is limited to 100 guests.