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Who knew Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fame, was an internationally renowned photographer? When Maryanne Charis told me she was resurrecting her House of Photographic Art (HOPA) and wanted to donate opening night ticket proceeds to Women of Chapman for a personal appearance with Nash showcasing his work, I jumped on it.

The HOPA night at the Forster Mansion in San Juan Capistrano was a sell-out with 110 guests, and the star of the show was definitely Nash. Not looking his 70 years, the legendary singer/songwriter – he had just returned from a European tour with Crosby and Stills and was headed to the Greek Theater for several performances – said he has been an avid photographer since childhood. So, all those years he was performing with the British pop group The Hollies and later, with Crosby, Stills and Young (both of which were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), he was snapping pictures. The collection he brought to HOPA featured black and white photos taken between 1969 and 2010, etchings and hand-written images of the lyrics from some of the world’s best loved songs. His photographs featured portraits of family, friends, self, and fellow music icons, as well as scenes captured during Nash’s world travels.

Many guests had fond memories of Nash and his namesake group. WOC member Leslie Cancellieri’s husband Dino said, “I’ve listened to him for 40 years, and ‘Our House’ is one of my all-time favorites.” Nash wrote the iconic song in 1970 for the Deja Vu album released by CSNY.

Nash is obviously committed to both performing and photographing the world around him. “When you look at my photos, I want you to feel something,” he said. I especially enjoyed “Neil Driving Home,” a photo of Neil Young driving his vintage car away from the camera down a lonely dirt country road.

“The Photography of Graham Nash” runs through November 17, so plan on dropping by. You won’t be disappointed! Thanks to Charis’ generosity, who is a Women of Chapman member, we netted the tidy little sum of $4,350 to support Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and its new Musco Center for the Arts.