Pamela Wood, the founder and longtime director of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, has died, her family and colleagues said. She was 88.

Shannon Gilchrist, Wood’s granddaughter, posted a message Sunday on Save the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies’ Facebook page, saying Wood died last week, on Tuesday or Wednesday. Gilchrist’s post didn’t give a cause of death.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Pamela Wood, the founder and longtime director of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Our thoughts are with her family and friends,” the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at Maine College of Art said in a Facebook post Monday. “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,” the college said.

The college posted what it described as “a rare photograph of Wood” with Reid Chapman, a farmer from West Kennebunk who became the first subject of a Salt story in 1973.

The Salt Institute merged with the Maine College of Art in 2016.

“She had countless accomplishments, some of which included traveling the world, founding (and teaching) Salt Institute for Documentary Field studies, raising four children and myself and retiring in Mexico, where she worked with indigenous people,” Gilchrist wrote.

Gilchrist said Wood’s family will be celebrating her life in Mexico on Tuesday. Gilchrist said she will be hosting a small gathering at the same time (3-4:30 p.m.) at J’s Oyster Bar on Portland’s waterfront – one of Wood’s favorite bars in Portland.

“If you knew her and care to share a memory, come and have a drink,” Gilchrist posted.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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