Sheila Pree Bright | #1960Now Online Exhibition: November 6, 2020–March 28, 2021Riverside Art Museum
“#1960Now represents an important new contribution to American protest photography.”—Guest Curator, Lisa Henry
Riverside, CA (November 9, 2020)—The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) invites you to a Zoom conversation between fine-art protest photographer Sheila Pree Bright and guest curator Lisa Henry on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, at 6 p.m. This free conversation is part of the Riverside Public Library’s Humanities Hour. For more information and to register, visit: www.riversideartmuseum.org/TellYourStory. The conversation will center on Sheila Pree Bright | #1960Now, running November 6, 2020–March 28, 2021, at the Riverside Art Museum, with a virtual online exhibition that launched Friday, November 6, 2020.
#1960Now is Sheila Pree Bright's journey documenting the responses to police shootings in Atlanta, Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Baton Rouge. Her work shows young social activists taking a stand against the same struggles their parents and grandparents endured during the era of Jim Crow. In 2013, while photographing under-recognized living leaders of the Civil Rights movement, she made a connection between recent times and the climate of the 1960s. This dialog between past and present inspired the project.
“I began this series in 2013 in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case,” says artist Sheila Pree Bright. “There were people out photographing the protests, but people were not doing it as a long-term series, and I was interested in making the series generational. It’s not just about the protests, it’s about the workers. In the beginning, I didn’t want to be labeled or pigeonholed as an activist, but since George Floyd, I realize that I am an activist. The pandemic and the George Floyd protests have just amplified everything and I continued to see how people sought out Black Lives Matter and protested in all 50 states. So, this work shows the continuation from Trayvon to this summer.”
#1960Now is a series that examines race, gender, and generational divides to raise awareness of millennial perspectives on civil and human rights. As an ongoing series, Bright continues to photograph protests all over the country and the emerging young leaders affiliated with the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“What makes this powerful body of work unique and really trailblazing is that it connects generations,” says guest curator Lisa Henry. “#1960Now captures this current incredible period of protest, but equally important is how Sheila Pree Bright spotlights the workers for social justice both young and old. One of her most striking images from this period of her work is “Mothers March On”, which is a full-length group portrait of mothers who have lost their children to police brutality and other acts of racial violence. This image is presented larger than life-size, alongside the protest images in the exhibition. All the photographs—of the protests, the activists, the elders, and the mothers—are in conversation with each other.”
This exhibition is organized as part of an initiative with the Civil Rights Institute of Inland Southern California.
About the Artist
Sheila Pree Bright is an acclaimed fine-art photographer who describes herself as a visual cultural producer of works that combine a wide range of knowledge of race and contemporary culture. Bright’s work has appeared in the book and exhibition Posing Beauty in African American Culture, as well as the 2014 feature-length documentary Through the Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People. Her photographs have been exhibited at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Smithsonian National Museum of African American Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; and the Leica Gallery in New York. She is the recipient of several awards including the Center Prize (2006). Her work is included in numerous private and public collections, including the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, D.C., Oppenheimer Collection; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland, KS; National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; The Museum of Contemporary Art, GA; and The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
The Riverside Art Museum integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing high quality exhibits and art education programs that instill a lifelong love of the arts. RAM relies on the generosity of members and donors to support its exhibitions, education programs, and special events. A 60-plus-year-old, non-profit cultural arts institution housed in a National Historic 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, the museum welcomes over 50,000 visitors a year. The museum is open Tuesday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. and Sunday, noon–4:00 p.m. For information on exhibits, events, classes, memberships, or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.RiversideArtMuseum.org. For information about the proposed Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture & Industry at the Riverside Art Museum, visit thecheechcenter.org. Find RAM on Facebook (www.facebook.com/riversideartmuseum), Twitter (RAMRiverside), Instagram (@riversideartmuseum), and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/ramarts).
Sponsored by: City of Riverside | Betty & Walter Parks | California Humanities