ROSELAND, NJ - Local photographer Joanne Zascone, a resident of Caldwell, has been taking photographs since she was given a camera at 8 years old—a hobby and a passion that she shared with her father growing up. Her latest exhibit, titled "Love and the Cat's Meow," is currently on display at the Roseland Public Library until March 15.
"I really like photography because it reminds me of a snapshot in time," said Zascone. "It's something that you take a picture of that you may never see again. It's a moment that is special between you and a pet, a family member, an event, or it's just a beautiful nature scene that when the snow melts it's gone and you can look at it forever."
Different sections of the artist's photographs are featured at the Roseland exhibit, including one display of photographs inspired by things Zascone loves.
"We love our families, our homes, our community, good food, our pets, the snow, the holiday season, nature and springtime—but most of all we love 'love' and my photos reflect that," she said.
A second display includes a series of photos of a feral cat colony discovered in Roseland that Zascone began photographing by chance. She explained that when she met a man who was feeding the cats, she saw how sick and hungry the cats were and felt compelled to help in some way.
Zascone was put in contact with Taryn Tabana and Karen Shinevar, two local women who were willing to lend a hand. Shinevar is from the Montclair organization CPAW NJ, whose mission is to promote animal welfare and to educate the public about stray and feral cats.
CPAW believes that feral cats should be trapped, vaccinated, chipped, spayed, neutered and released back outside (TNR) so that they cannot continue to reproduce. Shinevar explained that cats can become pregnant as young as four months, and that many do not survive without TNR intervention.
Zascone said that nearly a month and a half into the TNR process, the health of the Roseland cat colony improved greatly. She began taking photos as another way of bringing awareness to the cause.
"The cats got healthier and would start posing for me," said Zascone, who explained that she does not alter her photos, and that what is seen in her photos is how close she actually gets to her feline subjects.
"It is through the work and compassion of women like Taryn and Zascone that we can help educate the public and help save these animals from a life of suffering," said Shinevar.
All proceeds and donations from the Roseland Public Library exhibit will go toward the TNR program. To learn more or to donate directly, visit the Help TNR a NJ Feral Cat Colony fundraising page.