In the summer of 2020, inspired by the art advocacy of the Black Lives Matter mural painted on the streets of Charlotte, NC, I reached out to the muralists to collaborate with my camera. I imagined creating photographs to document the art that mattered most to them at that time, and wanted the process to be an exploration of collaborative power. Each artist selected a piece of art to feature in a photograph, then answered the question: where do you see your art living in the world? Sometimes literal and sometimes fantastical, the responses informed the environment and mood of each collaboration. The resulting photographs, all made in late summer 2020, offer a glimpse of what was on the minds of creatives that designed a banner for a movement.
With equal and appropriate amounts of anger and pain, the artists’ responses returned again and again to joy, healing, and clinging to what is worth celebrating as a tool of resistance in response to the hardships and injustices laid bare by the pandemic and the killing of George Floyd. A selection of prints from this series that demonstrate the tendency towards joy as resistence will be on view at the Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, NC as part of the Joy exhibition opening September 25, 2021. All proceeds of photography sales will be donated to The Arts Empowerment Project.