PDN Photo of the Day

Two Artists Explore History of Race in America

Segregated Influences, an exhibition that explores the complex history of race in America through the photographs of Wendel White and Tya Alisa Anthony, is on view at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center (CPAC) through June 2.

In Schools for the Colored, White photographs the architectural remains of segregated schools for African Americans in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. In the images, the school buildings appear isolated from their surroundings, which are obscured using digital techniques. This approach is a “representation of W.E.B. DuBois’ famous concept of ‘the veil,’ a metaphor for the divide that separates the lives of black and white Americans,” explains the press release.

Complexion by Anthony confronts the results of colorism perpetuated by the media. Different from racism, colorism involves discrimination against persons based on skin tone, regardless of their racial identity. Drawing from the archives of Jet Magazine, “Anthony investigates the contrast between images published in the 1950s and today,” writes the gallery in a statement.

“Unlike today’s Jet Magazine filled with wealthy black celebrities of various skin tones, in the 1950s the printed much fairer skinned women of color with European-inspired hairstyles and created a complex relationship between what was ‘acceptable’ and reality,” writes Anthony.

“Although each artist takes a vastly different approach,” said Samantha Johnston, CPAC Executive Director and curator of the exhibition, “both artists use the power of photography to illuminate America’s complex history of race in ways that can help increase our understanding of social conditions today.”

The public is invited to hear both artists speak about their work at an opening tomorrow night, Friday, April 20 from 6-9 pm at CPAC.

Segregated Influences
Denver, Colorado

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