Tim Tonachella was born in Detroit and grew up on the city’s west side. A displaced

auto worker, he relocated in 1980 to northern California. While out west, he returned to

school and earned a degree in hospitality management, eventually becoming the

general manager of a hotel in Truckee, California. Twenty-nine years later he came

back to his hometown of Detroit.

Upon his return, Tim’s life-long love of photography took on new meaning and

emphasis. He developed a friendship with a well-known local photographer and joined

him on regular photographic outings. These creative journeys, together with attending

several local art events and exhibit openings, helped focus the direction of Tim’s work.

Legally blind since birth, Tim had limited his repertoire to family snapshots and small

personal projects. Photographer friends made several recommendations on equipment

and lenses that would enable him to shoot at a level he had never experienced. After

receiving encouragement from many in the local art community, Tim began submitting

his photographs to local galleries and juried entry to numerous Detroit-area art


He has exhibited throughout the region, including Livonia City Hall, Westland City Hall,

Wyandotte Downriver Council for the Arts, the Plymouth Community Council for the

Arts, Dearborn Padzieski Art Gallery, Canton Village Theater, Detroit Mosaic Art, Detroit

YMCA, and the Belle Isle Art Fair. He also has been featured at Napa California

Enchanted Hills and the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind.

Most current awards include 2 nd place photography and honorable mention at Three

Cities Art Club’s sixth annual juried art exhibition, Monte Nagler, juror.

His photography inspired “Interpretations II: Growing Old on the Streets,” an exhibition

featuring interpretations of his photos by 19 artists working in various media. The

Downriver Council for the Arts event last year was also captured in a video produced by

Jim Aho. Interpretations II: Growing Old on the Streets