Séan Alonzo Harris: Light Confirms My Reality
March 9 - April 4, 2022
Light Confirms My Reality is a community-based photo project and exhibition in collaboration with faculty and students at UMA and the Charles Danforth Gallery. The project is informed by a series of recent photographic projects including Visual Tensions, I Am Not A Stranger and The Space Between. These projects are a proclamation of radical inclusivity, an invitation to see differently, and transform our images and perceptions of others. The photographic document serves to engage the critical issues of race and representation and to make visible the varied, full humanity and expansive beauty of black people.
Amid the pandemic and nationwide protests spurred by the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and George Floyd in Minnesota, I found myself returning to Ralph Ellison’s text Invisible Man. Ellison’s portrayal of how black men are perceived and received resonates deeply with my personal experience, the urgency of the moment, and asks the viewer to see the complexity of race and identity. I continue to ask the question, how can we see differently and how might seeing differently build bridges across differences?
Light Confirms My Reality returns to the themes in Ralph Ellison’s text Invisible Man and engages community members in dialog about seeing and cultivating belonging in our current moment of social fracture and social alienation. Students will create photographs as a means to explore their everyday surroundings, to see their communities anew, and illuminate the full humanity and beauty in our homes, neighborhoods and towns. The project will provide a platform to engage in creative expression and animate our connections to each other.
March 7, March 21, and March 28, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
A small group of engaged participants are working with Séan, Amy Rahn, Charles Danforth Gallery Director, and Peter Precourt in a series of three (two hour) workshops to create, with Séan’s Leadership, a collaborative project plan. Due to the (hopefully) in-person nature of one or more of these workshops, this project is open to members of the community who can (Covid-allowing) be present for in-person workshops in Augusta, Maine.
From the workshops, individuals will then go into the community and engage those they recognize by sight, but know little about, and will result in a collective artwork that builds small bridges between individuals to form a stronger community.
Artist’s Informal Lunchtime Talk
Wednesday, March 9, 12 - 1 p.m. via Zoom
Keynote Conversation between Séan Alonzo Harris and Anjuli Lebowitz, PhD
March 23, 6 - 7 p.m. via Zoom
In the Charles Danforth Gallery Wednesday, March 30, 12 - 1 p.m.