Our person of the week: Lucy Hilmer

Lucy Hilmer has been a regular at Cary’s writing practice table at Café La Boheme in San Francisco, for the past 2 ½ years. Lucy is a fine art photographer, documentary filmmaker and poet, who spends most of her time working alone in her home studio. But every Friday at noon, she heads to the Mission to sit with Cary’s pop up community of creative people for an hour, where she and others fast write from prompts, and read aloud the instant trajectories of their free flowing imaginations. Writing with Cary at Café La Boheme has given Lucy — a self-described hermit/artist — a place she can count on for community and creative risk taking with others.

My Valentines BOOK COVERWe are please to recommend Lucy’s first photo book, MY VALENTINES, 21 Years of Portraits From The Family Album. It is a gift for all seasons, but especially appropriate for gift giving on Valentine’s Day. Here is the link to Lucy’s website, where it can be purchased.

For more than 40 years, Lucy has photographed, at regular intervals, the ever-changing lives of herself, her family, and friends, creating multiple, B&W series-in-time, which she is currently funneling into a trilogy of photo books with short, companion piece films.

For 21 years, the time it takes to bring up a child, Lucy made an annual portrait of her daughter, always in relationship to a rose and some abstracted portion of her black-sweatered dad. These classic, B&W portraits were then mailed out as Valentine Postcards to everyone her family ever knew or met. “Annie Cards” travelled all over the world to be archived in albums, stuck on refrigerator doors, pinned on bulletin boards in all sorts of offices— and now, they are available to you in this beautifully printed and produced book, which tracks the life a child growing from a 3-day-old infant to a 21-year-old woman who has come of age.

Annie Valentine Card 1993


Cary's Writing Retreat in Chester, CT