Meet the extraordinary Thomas Greenleaf!
Thomas and his husband Joe have been volunteering his time with me as my assistant on the Jump for Joy Photo Project while I am Artist in Residence at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. Now I can’t imagine how I ever did this project without his help. Thomas has been the go to person for scheduling and organizing the jumping photo sessions. I’ve always wished to have a team working with me on the project, so you could correctly say he is a dream come true.
Thomas puts his heart into everything he does and we always have a blast on the photo sessions. This photo is one of those moments where I was laughing so hard I could barely take the photo.
Thomas, I am beyond grateful for all the time and love you put into helping me create and share joy. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate who you are and all you have done to help make the project happen.
Get to know a little more about Thomas:
Q: What inspires you to jump for joy?
A: My husband, my friends, and my dogs.
Q: How was your experience doing the jumping photos?
A: At first, I was a little apprehensive and self-conscious about jumping. But once I saw the photos, I started to relax and have fun.
Q: How do you describe the feeling of joy?
A: Joy is a feeling of elation. The joy that I have experienced while assisting Eyoälha has channeled more positive energy into my own life and has become a catalyst for self-improvement.
Q: What is your greatest passion in life?
A: I love to bake, especially traditional cakes and cheesecake. As a baker, when you put your heart and soul into making something special for another person, that person feels appreciated and loved. I enjoy watching their delight when they taste what I have created.
Q: How do you feel about being part of a community project that promotes joy?
A: I love it! I love helping Eyoälha; it’s a new and creative experience every time we go to another photo session. I enjoy meeting the people in our community, forming new relationships, and witnessing the joy and happiness that they experience when they jump.
Q: If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
A: I would travel the world, visit and learn about new cultures. Having a open mind and appreciative of all that different societies contribute to the human experience is something that I cherish.
Q: What are you working on or creating?
A: Almost two years ago, when I turned 47, I decided that I was going to return to college and complete my degree. Currently, I’m working on obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Data Analytics and have about 1½ years left before I graduate. But I don’t plan on stopping there. My five year plan is to continue with college and get a Master of Science in Business Intelligence or Data Science degree.
Q: Mini bio or something special you want to share.
A: I grew up in Maine and moved to Southern California after I graduated from high school. That was 30 years ago! I met my wonderful husband, Joe, 14 years ago and we have lived in Palm Springs for the last nine years.
Thank you to the Palm Springs Cultural Center inviting me to be your first Artist in residence and bringing the Jump for Joy Photo Project to the Coachella Valley.
If you live in the Coachella Valley and would like more info on the project, or would like to take part, email us: firstname.lastname@example.org