Dawoud Bey, Lonnie Graham, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis: Embracing Eatonville

Embracing Eatonville
Exhibition Dates: February 1–May 29, 2009
Artist Lecture—Deborah Willis: April 8, 2009, 4:30pm

Light Work is pleased to announce the Embracing Eatonville exhibition, featuring the work of photographers Dawoud Bey, Lonnie Graham, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis, on view in the Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery in Syracuse University’s Schine Student Center. The exhibition was featured in Light Work’s main gallery in 2003, then proceeded to travel to various galleries throughout the country. In celebration of diversity, Light Work has decided to show this meaningful exhibition again in conjunction with a lecture by Deborah Willis to be held in April. A limited re-issue of the Eatonville Portfolio, which offers four exquisite signed prints will also be offered for sale from Light Work.

Embracing Eatonville is a photographic survey of Eatonville, FL, the oldest black incorporated town in the United States, and place where celebrated writer Zora Neale Hurston lived and worked. Beginning in January 2002 Bey, Graham, Weems, and Willis spent time in Eatonville taking photographs in an effort to provide a meaningful reflection of the town’s spirit and character, while concentrating on its social, political, and cultural landscape. In response to the unique character of the community and its history, these artists produced a diverse portrait of Eatonville using both traditional and interpretive documentary methods. The special project that enabled these artists to go to Eatonville was created by Light Work and sponsored by the CNY Community Foundation.

Deborah Willis, one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture, will visit Syracuse University to talk about the importance of preserving the history of African American communities in Syracuse through a photography archive. She will speak on April 8 at 4:30pm in the Maxwell Auditorium. Willis’ presentation, sponsored by the South Side Initiative, Light Work, and the Onondaga Historical Association, is free and open to the public. Funding was provided by Syracuse University’s U.Encounter Grant.

Dawoud Bey received his MFA from Yale University School of Art, and is a professor of art and photography at Columbia College Chicago. He has received numerous awards and fellowships over the course of his artistic career, and is currently represented in the United States by Rhona Huffman Gallery in Chicago. His work is included in permanent collections throughout America and Europe, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery London, among many others.

Lonnie Graham is the founder of the African/American Garden Project, a physical and cultural exchange program. He has exhibited his work internationally, and was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, one of the largest grants for an individual artist. He is presently a professor of Fine Arts at Pennsylvania State University and an instructor of special programs at the Barnes Foundation in Marion, PA.  He acts as a visiting instructor of Graduate Studies at San Francisco Art Institute, and is formerly a visiting professor at Haverford College in Philadelphia, PA. Graham’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA; the Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI; the Delaware Museum of Art in Wilmington, DE; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in Philadelphia, PA.

Carrie Mae Weems received a BA from the California Institute of the Arts and an MFA from the University of California at San Diego. She is an internationally recognized artist, and has won numerous awards and fellowships, including the 2005–2006 Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize Fellowship, and the Pollack Krasner Foundation Grant in Photography. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, and the Whitney Museum, among others. Weems’ work can be found in various permanent collections, such as at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Deborah Willis received her BFA from Philadelphia College of Art, her MA from City University of New York, her MFA from Pratt Institute and her PhD from George Mason University. In 2005 she was a Guggenheim Fellow and Fletcher Fellow. She was a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. She is a professor of photography and imaging at the Tisch School of Arts, New York University. Her work has been exhibited nationwide, including at Scottsdale Contemporary Art Museum in Scottsdale, AZ; Hand Workshop Art Center in Richmond, VA; and the Frick Collection in Pittsburgh, PA, among others.

Light Work invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition and facility. Light Work is a non-profit, artist-run organization dedicated to the support of artists working in photography and electronic media. Light Work is a member of CMAC, the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers at Syracuse University.

For more information about any of these exhibitions, please contact Jessica Heckman at Light Work, 315-443-1300 or jhheckma@syr.edu.

**Digital press images and image information from this exhibition are available upon request.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply