Fine Art Photography Daily

On Being Black at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery


I was recently in Atlanta for the Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival.  During that visit, I had the wonderful opportunity to see the exhibition, On Being Black, at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery.  The exhibition runs through January 22, 2016 with an opening on Friday, October 16, 2015, 6 PM – 9 PM and a Panel discussion at Spelman College Museum of Fine Art Auditorium on Saturday, October 17, 11:00 AM.

The Arnika Dawkins Gallery is devoted to presenting fine art from both emerging and established photographers, specializing in images by African Americans and of African Americans–creating a much needed platform for significant discussions, both visual and verbal, about the experience of being a Black photographer.  On Being Black features work by 23 nationally renowned, mid-career and emerging fine art photographers. The show explores issues of race, colorism and racial identity.

The exhibition and the accomplished artists who are in participation endeavor to continue the conversation about race as well as attempt to make sense of the daily news; exploring the questions of how does one identify them self, who defines race and what does it mean to be black in the new millennium.

On Being Black provides an intelligent point of view with distinct and observant voices on this topic.

Allen Cooley_Freckles_Lo Res

©Allen Cooley, Freckles

“The thing about race is that scientifically there is no such thing. What we used to determine race is really nothing more than haphazard physical characteristics, cultural histories, and social conventions that distinguish one group from another.” – Kareem Abdul Jabar

Many thought we were living in a post-racial society where differences were celebrated, acknowledged and tolerated. Sadly with the current climate, our nation is still in the throes of reconciling issues of our shared past. The artists participating in On Being Black seek to gain a deeper understanding of race, colorism and racial identity through artistic expression with sensitivity and presence of awareness.

“At this time in our history this is a dialog that must be had.” – Arnika Dawkins

American gothic 1970's style

©Barbara DuMetz, American Gothic 1970’s Style

Ayana V. Jackson_Paper Bag Test_Lo Res

©Ayana V. Jackson, Paper Bag Test

Ervin Johnson_InHonor

©Ervin  A. Johnson, In Honor

Teeth9 001

©Hank Willis Thomas, Black Power

Zulu and Ox around town and Ox's apartment in Terrace Apartments in Roanoke Tuesday night.

©Jared Soares, Oxy Neutron and the Star

Ireland low res

©Janna Ireland, Night Series #11

John Pinderhughes_Pretty for a black girl_LoRes

©John Pinderhughes, Pretty for a Black girl

Omar Victor Diop_Frederick Douglas_Lo Res

©Omar Victor Diop, Frederick Douglas

were you there lo res

©Jim Alexander, Were you there

What Do They Call Me My Name is Aunt Sara - Delphine Fawundu_LoRes

©Delphine Fawundu, What Do They Call Me? My Name is Aunt Sarah


©Qiana Mestrich, Untitled #3, The Mist in Mystic series



©Gerard Gaskin, Tez and Marquise at the Evisu Ball


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