A provocative exhibit has opened at the Little Haiti Cultural Center’s Galley of Art in time for Black History Month.
Shades of Black II: Colorization of the Americas features the works of 23 photographers and artists, including the late, legendary photographer Herman Leonard and Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami Herald editorial cartoonist Jim Morin.
The exhibition brings jazz legends to life with Leonard’s photographs. It also shows the despair of famine and civil unrest.
One photograph shows an aged Brazilian black man, whose father was a slave, finally owning his own piece of land. Another depicts the pure joy and camaraderie of other elderly Brazilian black men playing dominoes.
The photographers and artists are ethnically diverse, all bringing their own interpretations of what it means to be black or how they view blackness, said Carl Juste, a Miami Herald photographer who curated the exhibit with Marie Vickles.
Herald photographer Charles Trainor Jr. followed three generations of the same family for 10 years, chronicling their growth and documenting how they identify themselves in the culture. His colleague Marice Cohn Band photographed the shades of black in Cuba from 1988 to 2004.
“There were a lot of long-term projects,” Juste said.
Some subjects are well-known — Muhammad Ali, the Beatles — but most are not. Collectively, they tell a story of the complexities, richness and triumphs of the “black experience” in the United States, the Caribbean, the Americas and Africa.
A symposium scheduled for Feb. 28 will discuss black identity in the art industry, led by Miami curator and gallery owner Rosie Gordon Wallace, executive director of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts. The event will feature artists, academics, gallery owners and collectors holding two panel discussions that evening. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
The free exhibition, which opened last week, will run through the end of February at the center, 212 NE 59th Ter., Miami. It is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.