I never would have thought I would have my first solo exhibit but it really happened. November 9, 2019, was the opening for my very first show centered around The Self Publication series (www.theselfpublication.com). I’ve worked on the project for two years. To give you a summary, The Self Publication—a collection of photography and personal essays designed to uplift and combat the harsh stereotypes associated with men and women in the Black Community.
The project was also created to analyze the role of media representations. According to studies, some stereotypes have been activated so frequently (for example, through media exposure) that associated responses can begin to occur unconsciously. Regardless of whether individuals choose to accept a stereotype, if they simply do not consciously recognize and analyze the representations being offered, then such images can influence the ways that they perceive and interact with the groups being stereotyped—for instance, African American women.
I started playing around with this project at the end of 2016 after seeing a variety of harsh and disturbing memes on colorism within the black community. I gave in after being frustrated and motivated by friends and family to create something to challenge those images. Each year I photograph 14 participants who all submit written reflections on issues such as colorism, mental illness and so much more.
I’m so happy I was able to exhibit the work. The show is on display from November 9, 2019 – January 5, 2020. There are 25 amazing photographs of so many wonderful people mounted alongside excerpts from their stories. The exhibit is a combination of photos from volume 1 & 2 of the series! I was so nervous no one would show up for the opening but it was a great turn out! The artist talk took place this past weekend, November 16, 2019, and was just as amazing! It was great being able to share a brief story of my life and what I plan to do with the project.