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Founder Of Salt Institute For Documentary Studies Dies At Age 88

wood_and_farmer.jpg
Jay York
/
via Salt Institute For Documentary Studies at MECA
Pamela Wood in 1973 with West Kennebunk farmer Reid Chapman, the institute's first story subject.

Pamela Wood, the founder of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, has died, according to family and friends.

In a post Sunday, June 3, on the Save the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies Facebook page, Shannon Gilchrist says her grandmother died last Monday or Tuesday at age 88.  Gilchrist did not specify a cause of death. 

Gilchrist says Wood retired in Mexico, where she did work with indigenous people.  She says that's where family members will celebrate Wood's life on Tuesday.  Gilchrist says she will be hosting a gathering the same day at 2 p.m. at J's Oyster Bar in Portland, one of Wood's favorite venues.

For more than four decades, students at Salt have documented the people and cultures of Maine through photography, short films, writing and radio. It was created in the 1970s, and merged with the Maine College of Art in 2016.

In a post on the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at MECA Facebook page, officials said they were "deeply saddened" by Wood's death.

"Ms. Wood was a visionary teacher with a deep commitment to ethical storytelling. All of us at Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at MECA are honored to be able to build on her legacy as we teach a new generation of storytellers and documentarians," MECA officials said.