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Black Family Portraits with Seed Lynn

February 18, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 4:00 pm

Join us with photographer Seed Lynn for a free family portrait session!



For this Black History Month, we’re thrilled to partner with photographer Seen Lynn to offer free family portraits to our community!


The Black family portrait, throughout history to the present, has always been an accessible, but vivid practice of self-representation that offers a more genuine and realistic portrayal of Black identity and dignity. Whether being made candidly within the family, or posing for a staged portrait, Black family portraits continue to reveal the inherent beauty, resilience, diversity, and style of our people and culture.


Learn more about our guest photographer below:


Writer, imagist, and artist, Seed Lynn, submits memory work as a liberatory practice. Whether sensually, technically, or artfully applied, Lynn meets the lens as a travelin’ state where listening and witnessing make voice timeless. And true.

This light invades his work, finds and frames subjects honestly, and creates brave space where stories find students. Lynn’s own studies concern how we remember ourselves, how that memory is imaged, and how remembrance itself, in the face of oppression, is a cathartic and radical act of protest.

We hope you’ll join us for what will be a memorable moment for you and your family!


We are prioritizing families who do NOT have studio family portraits, so we ask that you only reserve a space for you and your family if this applies to you.  Portraits will be organized through 15-minute time blocks, with limited availability, so RSVP is required!

if for any reason you cannot make your timed reservation, please notify us right away so that we may open a slot to another family.

*notices can be made to SSCAC Programs Manager: zakkiyyah@sscartcenter.org


February 18, 2023
11:30 am - 4:00 pm
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Works in EMERGENCE are diverse in their subject matter and media, but a few themes reappear throughout. Working in abstraction or in the traditionally peaceful genre of still life, artists like William Carter, Allen Stringfellow, and Jonathan Green express themes of interiority or sociability, history or modernity. Notably, Stringfellow and Ralph Arnold both experimented with media and materials and worked extensively in collage, which allowed them to combine abstract design, figurative imagery, and on occasion political ideas.

Viewers typically expect Black artists to focus on particular aspects of their social and political identities within their work. Where might those expectations come from? Still life, abstraction, and collage may express many different things about artists’ interior lives and their visual and social observation, whether connected to public manifestations of identity or not.

William Carter’s mid-century still life Untitled presents a group of vibrantly colored bottles that invite the viewer’s gaze, set against a similarly colorful background with floral elements like grapes and leaves. They give evidence of conviviality and might be interpreted as symbols of social gatherings, but they could also just be a collection of pleasing forms. We might put Carter’s still life in dialogue with that of Jonathan Green, who became close friends with Carter while living in Chicago. Green’s close-up view of an eloquently simple composition presents oranges, a pear, and a lemon in front of two vessels. Works like this piece call the viewer to examine the objects the artist chose to include, to consider how they interact with each other like bodies in space, and to reflect on their meaning within the traditional genre of still life painting.

Collage might suggest the piecing together of identity from different components that might not usually coexist, giving room for more expansive imaginations of meaning than a straightforward representational image might allow. It could also just be an inventive way of combining colors, shapes, and textures. Allen Stringfellow’s Untitled, a collage from 1962, brings familiar motifs from still life—fruit and flowers, desserts and glassware—together with imagery of artist’s models and performers. Layered with paint and tissue paper that frustrate the viewer’s attempt to get clarity on the subject matter, the bursts of form and colors hint at the splashy abstraction of Stringfellow’s untitled, textured painting made from house paint and particulate on cardboard. Here the artist tests commonly found materials to create new textures and plays with the creation of colors and finishes that diverge from “Western” academic painting methods.

In The Waiting, Arnold constructs a large collage from different paper components, lace, and paint. In the piece, elements of European and African art are placed in dialogue with one another, while some figures appear alone and isolated, others in large groups. Without giving easy answers, Arnold implies questions about social issues. Who is waiting, and for what? In his Love Sign II, which bears the words “Love is Universal,” Arnold asserts the equal validity of all types of romantic affection and love, utilizing collage to convey a more straightforward political message.