Representative Maxine Grad’s photo by Rebecca Silbernagel is on display in the State House throughout the month of January as part of Silbernagel’s The Happy Place Project.

Fayston photographer Rebecca Silbernagel’s exhibit of Vermont lawmakers opened last week in the Vermont State House cafeteria and remains up through January 31. The artist and her subjects will be celebrated at a closing reception on Thursday, January 30, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the State House cafeteria.

In September 2018, Silbernagel, who is a legislative employee at the State House, started work on what she has since dubbed The Happy Place Project. She has completed 31 photo sessions so far, with those shots on display in the State House throughout the month of January. Her intent is to continue the series as long as she has volunteer lawmakers who are willing to be photographed.

As a starting point for the portraits in this exhibit, Silbernagel asked participating lawmakers to answer three questions: Where do you go to recharge? What do you like to do when you are not working? What helps you keep your center?

“I asked members of the Vermont House to let me take their photo at home or somewhere in their district that is special to them. If they are usually accompanied by a pet, then that furry or feathered friend should be in the photo, too. Additionally, I asked each participant to tell me about what they are doing and why their chosen location is special to them,” Silbernagel said.

To view The Happy Place Project photographs and to read the lawmakers’ narratives, go to Facebook at Vermont Lawmakers in Portrait by Rebecca Silbernagel.

When not behind the camera, Rebecca Silbernagel works in the office of the House clerk at the State House. Prior to her appointment, she worked as a photographer and graphic designer for nonprofit organizations. Her photographs have been published regionally and internationally in various publications.