The opportunity to be part of the Diversity and Inclusion exhibition at the Ontario Museum of History and Art wasn’t just an honor. In some ways, it felt like an imperative.
You see, I was lucky enough to spend the initial years of my childhood in a suburban neighborhood in California that was both diverse and inclusive.
Some of my earliest memories are of playing with the kids on my block at the age of four without any understanding that we were all of different races. Between us, we were Black, White, Mexican and Vietnamese, but no one had pointed out that all of us being friends and getting along with each other was rare. Especially at such a young age.
I had made it all the way to 5th grade before I had any concept that race played a part in society and was used as a divide among people. Because of this, I agree with those who say that hate is taught.
While we didn’t all get along all the time when we were kids, it never had anything to do with the color of anyone’s skin or the manner in which they spoke. It was usually over a toy. Or who got to pretend to be which superhero.
Throughout my life, I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with a variety of people from all walks of life from people who were once homeless to those who can pay cash for a home–in Southern California.
In each case, I’ve had the chance to learn and teach and celebrate our differences.
After all, each of our experiences are not just unique, they’re worthy.
What is an Expressionist Photograph?
My contribution to the exhibition is an Expressionist Photograph called “Falling in to Rhythm”.
In keeping with the Expressionist movement in art, I convey emotion and meaning in my photographs by highlighting details in the image that reveals how the image makes me feel.
In the case of Falling in to Rhythm, I wanted you to feel the chemistry between the couple as they dance, so I included little arcs of electricity illuminating the details and left the image with a slightly dreamy ambiance because true love often seems to feel unreal.
We all see the world through our personal lens and the filter of our experiences. With my Expressionist Photography, I invite you to see the world through mine.
The original version of this piece was printed on wood and is available for purchase here.
If you would like to view the exhibition, here are the details:
Ontario Museum of History and Art
Diversity and Inclusion: The Influence of African American Art in Southern California
Thursday, January 25 to Sunday, February 25, 2018.
225 South Euclid Avenue
Ontario, California 91762
Gallery Hours: Noon to 4PM – Thursday to Sunday