Explore the Clayton Sisterhood Project exhibition in Roy Wilkins Park in a walkthrough led by artist Laila Annmarie Stevens in conversation with Elias Williams as part of Juneteenth in Queens–a community empowered event to highlight, celebrate, and commemorate the history of Black Ancestors and their journeying to liberation through Juneteenth.
Working in portraiture and documenting their intimate surroundings and communities, both Stevens and Williams have featured their photography work in Roy Wilkins Park and will open a conversation about their experiences with the medium.
Part of the 2023 Photoville Festival, the Clayton Sisterhood Project explores the continuing legacy built by Laila Annmarie Stevens’s sisters and nieces, originally from South Jamaica, Queens, New York who moved to Clayton, North Carolina together. Inspired by the historical branches of trees on southern terrain and longing for ancestral remembrance through the traditional family album, Stevens utilizes the 1960s Black Power Movement principle of Self-Determination to preserve and document intergenerational Black Women across both states.
Please RSVP here!
Location: the exhibition and event are located at the entrance to Roy Wilkins Park at the intersection of Merrick Blvd and Foch Blvd in St. Albans, Queens: https://goo.gl/maps/dUg9gzFhveUCfZja6
About the Artists:
Laila Annmarie Stevens (b. 2001) is a Black Queer Photographer and Visual Artist from Queens, NY. She received her BFA in Photography and Related Media at The Fashion Institute of Technology. Their portraiture is informed by their passion for honoring marginalized youth voices and embracing the fullness of Black life through the creation of a digital safe space. Their work could be described as a raw and intimate perspective. Through her early work in youth organizations, she’s incorporated image-making to envision a world of inclusion and power.
Elias Williams is a photographer born, raised and working in New York City. Through long-term portrait-based projects he celebrates historically underrepresented communities referencing lived experiences through the nuances of music, pride, race and resilience. His photographs have been showcased at the Photoville Festival, International Photo Festival Leiden, the Morris Museum, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Museum of the City of New York. His clients include Apple, Bloomberg Markets, Essence, HuffPost, Instagram, National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, TIME and The Wall Street Journal among others. Williams is also a recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts’s Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) award (2017), Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice Fellowship (2017), World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass participant (2020) and Center of Photography at Woodstock Artist-in-Residence (2022).
Juneteenth in Queens is a community empowered event with Black Creativity, Black Business, Black Love, Black Wealth, Black Networking, Black Opportunity, Black Excellence, and Black Joy. Since the summer of 2020, multiple Queens communities have reconnected to highlight, celebrate, and commemorate the history of Black Ancestors and their journeying to liberation through Juneteenth. In June 2020, inspired to make a difference, Check on Your Black Friends Inc. and stakeholders rallied the state of NY to introduce a bill to codify the liberation journey for the Black diaspora. The bill was introduced by New York State Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman and was signed into law in October 2020. It paved the way for President Joe Biden to emulate the efforts, making Juneteenth a national recognized holiday on June 19th, 2021.
Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions. By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, they join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation. Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.
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