Heart & Soul


There are things we do because we ought to (pay the electric bill, clean the bathroom, shovel the driveway), and then there are the things we do because doing them brightens our world and fills our hearts. Whether it’s creating art, teaching children, summiting a mountain or building things in the backyard, these are the things we simply love doing. Photographer Lauryn Hottinger captured five Maine women doing what they’re most passionate about.

Aimsel Ponti
Host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ

Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

“I’m a college radio veteran and love having a show at CLZ, and I absolutely love the Maine music scene. We have so many incredible artists here that it’s hard to keep up, but that’s a good problem to have. I love sharing new music with listeners while also spinning older tracks as well. Music is by far the thing I’m most passionate about.”

Jessica Lea Nolette
“Dog mom” to Bella

Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

“Bella makes me want to work harder, always. Her tenacity and willingness to keep moving fill my heart with hope. She’s my best friend and biggest inspiration. I’ve had Bella since she fit in the palm of my hand nearly 16 years ago. About four years ago she lost use of her back legs. My dad built her a wheelchair using PVC pipes, a leather belt and duct tape. She’s fearless and hopeful and the reason I started running. If she can do it, minus two legs, I can, too.”

Jess Tkacik
Jewelry designer

Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

“Making jewelry is a form of meditation for me. It gives me a platform to send a positive message into the world while providing me with a creative outlet.”

Jessica Lauren Lipton
Artist, Pop Killed Culture

Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

“I am a performance and new media artist with a fondness for six-pack rings and human touch. I wholly and fully believe in the power of human touch and connection as a catalyst for change. Physical connection is fundamental to our development and our overall sense of well-being. Touch is a language that is instinctually understood if you know how to listen.”


Shannon Jenkins
Teacher at Opportunity Alliance, Portland

Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

“This work is important to me because it is essentially the very heart of humanity. The little people I teach are our future, and now more than ever it is important to create and foster kind, compassionate and genuine human connections. It is, quite simply, the purest and most rewarding mission to foster confidence, creativity, a sense of belonging to the children in my class.”

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