2018 Bob and Diane Fund Grantee
“Stephen’s story is like a slow drip of time, where we can see both aging and time pass. He has a consistent visual voice and style.”
—Sarah Leen, Director of Photography, National Geographic
On November 17, 2018, a panel of judges convened to select the third-annual winner of the Bob & Diane Fund grant. The Fund received 58 entries from 18 countries, all relating to Alzheimer's and dementia. Gathering in the offices of National Geographic Magazine in Washington D.C., the three judges (Getty Images’ Chip Somodevilla, National Geographic’s Sarah Leen and NPR’s Keith Jenkins) deliberated for more than four hours. After reviewing all entries, the jurors selected ‘With Dad’, a project by Massachusetts-based photographer Stephen DiRado. His project traces the progression of his own relationship with his father, from 1980 until his passing in 2018. The work, shot in large-format, black-and-white film, provides an intimate look at the family dynamics of caregiving and the passing of time.
Juror Chip Somodevilla, Senior Photographer, Getty Images News, praised DiRado’s project. “The work brings softness, dignity, respect and tenderness to people living with Alzheimer’s,” he said. “Stephen is very conscious of the string that ties all the images together.”
DiRado plans to use the 2018 Bob and Diane Fund award to publish ‘With Dad’ as a book:
“I have learned so much through the past two decades documenting my father's decline both spiritually, and understanding the value of life no matter how simple or impaired. I will now have the courage to seek out and bring together the mechanics to publish a book that will educate some, and help many others to better cope with a loved one's decline in life.”
ABOUT stephen DiRado
Stephen DiRado is a photographer whose work is based on long-term documentary projects. He has received numerous fellowships, grants and awards throughout his career. His work can be found in museum collections across the country, including the MFA, Boston, MFA, Houston, DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA and the Currier Museum in NH. He has had one person shows in many galleries and museums, including a most recent one in 2008/2009 at the Fitchburg Art Museum, Stephen DiRado’s Dinner Series: How We Lived.