|Visual Virtuosity: Blending Music and Photography|
|To celebrate Black Music Month Sisterspace and Books will be the venue for
"Visual Virtuosity: Celebrating African-American Music" The program centers
around a core exhibit of about 30 music photographs by nationally known local
photographers Wilbur Allen, Sharon Farmer, and David "Oggie" Ogburn. The
exhibit is accompanied by weekly activities including discussions on jazz and
photography, book signings, gallery talks, and walking tours of historic "U"
street. All programs are hosted by the African American Women's Resource
Center and the exhibit is curated by Donna Wells of Howard University's Mo
orland-Spingarn Research Center.
Washington's history in both African-American music and photography is long
and rich. Washington proudly claims native son Edward Duke Ellington but
there were other musicians whose lives, performances, and recordings touched
Washington society in one way or another. Institutions like the Treble Clef
Club, the L'Allegro Glee Club, the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Choral Society,
the Gregorian Studio of Music, and the Washington Conservatory of Music were
founded in the city by and for African Americans long before there was the
"U" Street that is celebrated now. The city's African-American photo legacy
began with daguerreotypist John B. Washington in 1850. Since then
photographers have acted as historians by creating a visual record of
African-American achievement. Part of that record documents the music scene
and includes the portraits of noted, and some not so noted, musicians and
images of concerts, social gatherings, and performances. Visual Virtuosity
celebrates both African-American music and the photographs that help to
remind us of the continuing contribution Blacks have made to American music.
Photographer, David "Oggi" Ogburn worked primarily in music promotions which
provided him access to artists of all genre. His extensive body of jazz
photographs include Art Blakey, Grover Washington, and Sade. In his work,
you get a backstage view of the performer as well as the performance itself.
Wilbur Allen's skill in film manipulation and computer graphics have earned
him praise in a number of photography and movie journals. His computer
enhanced portraits of Miles Davis take the traditional "still" photograph to
another level. Sharon Farmer is the first woman and the first African
American to become director of White House Photography and was former
photographer for President Clinton. Although her educational background was
in music, her skills in photography have brought her national recognition.
Her body of music photos include Sweet Honey in the Rock and Esther Williams
with Davie Yarborough.
- June 8
- A "meet the artist" reception is scheduled for 7 p.m., with
performances and comments on music history by acappella do-wop group, Last
- June 9
- Donna Wells will present a slide show of vintage photographs of the
Washington music scene from the collections of the Moorland Spingarn Research
Center from 5-6 p.m., followed by the Remember U Street: An Evening Walking
Tour at 6 p.m.. The cost for the walking tour, which will is also scheduled
for June 22nd, is $14.00.
- June 23
- Beginning at 1 p.m., Dr. Doris McGinty, retired professor of Howard
University's Department of Music, will discuss the The Early Music Scene in
Washington, DC: 1900-1920. She will be followed by archivist Deborra
Richardson, of the National Museum of American History, who will discuss the
Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian and highlight some of the items
in the collection.
- June 30
- A free-for-all women's jam session will close out the festivities
on, beginning at 3 p.m.
|For detail and a list of other activities contact Sisterspace at 202-332-3433
or visit their website at www.sisterspace.com.||