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Nimoy beams into BU to discuss ‘Secret Selves’ photo exhibit

Rich Michelson (center) moderates a Skype chat with Leonard Nimoy at BU.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Rich Michelson (center) moderates a Skype chat with Leonard Nimoy (right) at BU.

Seth Kaye Photography

Nimoy (right) and one of his photography subjects.

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If any Hollywood actor knows about divided selves, public and private, it would be Leonard Nimoy , best known for portraying
Mr. Spock in the original “Star Trek” TV series. On Thursday, Nimoy, 83, a Boston native and accomplished photographer, sat for a Skype inverview at Boston University with Northampton gallery owner Rich Michelson . The two discussed Nimoy’s photo exhibit “Secret Selves,” on view at BU’s Sherman Gallery through May 9. Its life-size photos depict Northhampton residents — artists, writers, business owners, clergy — revealing their “alternate identities” to Nimoy’s camera, dressed and posed in serious or humorous fashion. The photos were taken several years ago over a four-day period in Western Massachusetts. Michelson, who worked closely with Nimoy on the project, describes his friend as “a conceptual photographer” who comes up with a topic — religion and sexuality, cultural ideals of beauty — then uses photography to explore it. “Leonard’s also a director, and people opened up to him incredibly,” recalls Michelson. Nimoy has two other photo exhibits showing in the area, “Shekhina” at Winchester’s Griffin Museum of Photography and “Eye Contact” at South Boston’s 555 Gallery.

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