September 27 – December 13, 2019

The Fleming Museum of Art is pleased to announce the exhibition Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul: Selections from the Light Work Collection, originally organized by Light Work, a nonprofit organization in Syracuse, New York, that provides direct support to artists working in the media of photography and digital imaging.

The show was guest-curated by For Freedoms, a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States, co-founded in 2016 by former Light Work artists-in-residence Eric Gottesman and Hank Willis Thomas. Since then, For Freedoms has produced exhibitions, town hall meetings, and public art to spur greater participation in civic life. On their motivation for starting For Freedoms, Gottesman states: “Our hope was to spark dialogue about our collective civic responsibility to push for freedom and justice today, as those before us pushed for freedom and justice in their time through peaceful protest and political participation.”

SHOW MORE

Borrowing its title from the Charles Biasiny-Rivera piece of the same name, Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul features photographs from the Light Work collection that explore topics of politics, social justice, identity, and visibility. These subjects have remained significant for Light Work and many of the artists they have supported over their forty-five year history.

The list of artists includes: Laura Aguilar, George Awde, Karl Baden, Lois Barden and Harry Littell, Claire Beckett, Charles Biasiny-Rivera, Samantha Box, Chan Chao, Albert Chong, Renee Cox, Rose Marie Cromwell, Jen Davis, Jess Dugan, John Edmonds, Amy Elkins, Nereyda Garcia Ferraz, Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Antony Gleaton, Jim Goldberg, Eric Gottesman, David Graham, Mahtab Hussain, Tommy Kha, Deana Lawson, Mary Mattingly, Osamu James Nakagawa, Pipo Nguyen-Duy, Jackie Nickerson, Shelley Niro, Suzanne Opton, Kristine Potter, Ernesto Pujol, Irina Rozovsky, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Kanako Sasaki, Pacifico Silano, Clarissa Sligh, Beuford Smith, Amy Stein, Mila Teshaieva, Brian Ulrich, Ted Wathen, Carrie Mae Weems, Carla Williams, Hank Willis Thomas, Pixy Yijun Liao.

These forty-seven artists use the medium of photography to express their own humanity and that of their subjects; to subtly comment on the social, economic, and historical forces that oppress us all, but especially women, queer people, and people of color; and above all to create images that are by turns startling, meditative, and thought-provoking.

 

Antony Gleaton's "Un hijo de Yemayá (A Child of Yemaya), Hopkins, Belize," from the series 'Africa's Legacy in Central America,' 1990

Detail of Antony Gleaton's Un hijo de Yemayá (A Child of Yemaya), Hopkins, Beliz

Antony Gleaton, Un hijo de Yemayá (A Child of Yemaya), Hopkins, Belize, from the series 'Africa's Legacy in Central America (detail),' 1990. 14 x 14 inches. Gelatin Silver Print. Courtesy of Light Work

Larger version of A Child of Yemaya (PDF).

Chan Chao's "Karen Rebel," 1996

Detail of Chan Chao's Karen Rebel, 1996

Chan Chao, Karen Rebel (detail), 1996. Chromogenic Color Print. 21 x 17 inches. Courtesy of Light Work

Larger version of Karen Rebel (PDF).

John Edmonds' "Jordan Raising His Hand (Encounter), 2015

Detail of John Edmonds' "Jordan Raising His Hand (Encounter)," 2015

John Edmonds, Jordan Raising His Hand (Encounter) (detail), 2015. Inkjet Print. 40 x 26.6 inches. Courtesy of Light Work

Larger version of Jordan Raising His Hand (PDF)

Amy Elkins' "168 Months Out of a Life Sentence," 2009

Detail of Amy Elkins' "168 Months Out of a Life Sentence," 2009

Amy Elkins, 168 Months Out of a Life Sentence (detail), 2009. Inkjet Print. 20 x 16 inches. Courtesy of Light Work

Larger version of 168 Months Out of a Life Sentence (PDF)

Resources

Exhibitions header

A diverse and exciting schedule of programming accompanies this exhibition

EVENTS & PROGRAMS

 

Fall 2019 Opening Reception

Friday, September 27, 5:30-7:00 PM

Hosted by Fleming Director Janie Cohen, and the Museum’s Board of Advisors

Cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, and music

Contact Us