artist

Bill Mackowski, one of the last snowshoe makers, for Another Escape

“I’ve been a woodsman my entire life. I’ve hunted and trapped and spent time out in the woods since I was a kid. In the winter, we always had to use snowshoes and pack baskets, and as I got older I took an interest in making my own. I originally started making snowshoes when I was in my late thirties, when I was kind of going through a midlife crisis.There was an old fella here in Maine called Dick McCubrey who made snowshoes – one of the last guys left – and I asked him to make me a pair. He said, “Listen, why don’t I teach you how to make your own?” I said, “Gee, that sounds like a great idea”. From him, I learnt the basics for a pretty standard working snowshoe, and that’s where it all started. 

People tend to overlook the importance of snowshoes for the spread of civilization. They often don’t realize the incredible history and impact snowshoes have had. They go way back to the original expansion of civilization; for so long, travel was restricted to canoes, but the snowshoe opened up areas that were otherwise totally inaccessible. “

Bill Mackowski is considered to be among the last snowshoe makers. He makes snowshoes and pack baskets by hand in his workshop on his farm in Milford, Maine- where he also houses a collection of over 200 snowshoes from around the world in every size, shape, and tradition. Photographed for Another Escape.

All images © Greta Rybus for Another Escape

Influential Mainers for Maine Magazine

 
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro1_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro3_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro2_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro6_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro5_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro10_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro8_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro9_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro7_1280.jpg
tumblr_n8uxouUSM81txa27ro4_1280.jpg

There are a lot of people working to make Maine (and the world beyond it) better. They are political movers-and-shakers, farmers, CEOs, artists, bankers, and educators whose work has measurable impact and inspiring effects. 

I got to photograph over 40 of them (within the span of about two weeks). 
Check out the article in the July issue of Maine Magazine

All images © Greta Rybus

Coping with ALS // Artists Jon Imber and Jill Hoy

 
tumblr_n6vo1og6OH1txa27ro1_1280.jpg
tumblr_n6vo1og6OH1txa27ro3_1280.jpg
tumblr_n6vo1og6OH1txa27ro2_1280.jpg
tumblr_n6vo1og6OH1txa27ro4_1280.jpg

“I have found that I am changing continually, but as long as I have continued to paint, I have remained my own self.” - Jon Imber

In late winter, I photographed artists Jon Imber and Jill Hoy. In 2012, Jon was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive disease that affects the muscles that control the body: including movement and speech. Throughout his diagnosis, he painted with leg and hand braces and an assistant, to creating complex and vibrant portraits. He continued to paint until just days before he passed away in April. 

It was an honor to photograph Imber, to witness Imber and his wife Jill Hoy painting side-by-side, and to see the way they loved one another. It is something I will never forget.

Read Lisa Belisle’s article about them here.