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Sep 10th-Oct 26th Fine Arts Photography Gallery
"Dakar Senegal"  Copyright © Kerry Stuart Coppin 2000

"Las Canciónes Negras Sin Color"
Kerry Stuart Coppin

"Dakar Senegal" Copyright © Kerry Stuart Coppin, 2000
Las Canciónes Negras Sin Color ("Black Songs Without Color"), photography exhibit by Kerry Stuart Coppin, curated by Judith Tolnick, Fine Arts Photography Gallery.  Sponsored by Fidelity Investments.

The following press release has been furnished with kind permission by the Photography Gallery at the University of Rhode Island.  For further information about exhibit, please contact Judith Tolnick at 401.874.2775.

Las Canciónes Negras Sin Color [Black Songs Without Color]
by Kerry Stuart Coppin
Photography Gallery
September 10 - October 26, 2003

Gallery Talk by the artist
October 2, 12-1 pm

Kingston, RI-Inaugurating the exciting fall season of the Fine Arts Center Galleries is a special exhibition featuring artist Kerry Stuart Coppin's compelling Giclée (Iris) prints. The photographs provocatively document everyday life in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, West Africa. French-speaking Senegal is the westernmost country on the African continent, a republic bordering on Mauritania, Mali, Guinea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Its capital, Dakar, has a population of 2 million people in a country slightly smaller than South Dakota.

Coppin, born in New York, lives and teaches in Florida, but he has ventured into many African communities in the course of creatively managing, in his words, to "bridge international borders to construct a portrait of 'Africans Born in the Western World.'"

The exhibition title for the upcoming Photography Gallery exhibition is appropriately drawn from a poem by Marcelino Arozarena Ramos (1912-96), the distinguished Afro-Cuban poet who was deeply committed to his race and to examining issues of race, class and modern social reality in Cuba. Through Coppin's confident representations and imaging scale he likewise advances what he characterizes as the ongoing "debate on the fate and shape of Black cultural experience." This special exhibition showcasing Coppin's photographic project is being presented at the University of Rhode Island in conjunction with "The Futures of Globalization," the ambitious Fall 2003 Honors Colloquium (examining the profound series of changes we are witnessing in culture, ecology, economy and politics that are known broadly as "globalization"). A Gallery Talk by the artist coincides with the Multicultural Center's Annual Diversity Week (September 29 - October 3).

Coppin's documentary style street photography of contemporary Black experience (he has traveled several times to Senegal and other West African nations and has shot hundreds of rolls of film) metamorphoses inventively through his concentrated working process. He casts his images into large scale prints through the computer, which serves him as a kind of electronic darkroom. Through this digital format he operates like a painter, calibrating light and shade and forging other balances on the -MORE- Las Canciónes Negras Sin Color - p.2 composition of his many and varied street subjects. The final images are striking statements treating the people and settings of authentic Black community experience, images that yield important new insights into the human condition. At the same time, in Senegal - where on the island of Gorée the 18th-century House of Slaves, from which people were exported as commodities, still stands, and in where the Senegalese unemployment rate has reached 48% (with urban youth 40%) - these remarkable images are subtle cries for social change.

Coppin, born 1953 in Peekskill, New York, grew up in the South Bronx. He received his BFA degree from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1975 and his MFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design two years later.

Coppin has been awarded numerous grants, awards and fellowships as well as having had many successful exhibitions in his career. (In addition to the University of Rhode Island, he will be showing another body of work at Duke University this fall.) He also serves on the Board of the Society for Photographic Education (SPE). Coppin's photographs have entered prestigious permanent collections nationally, among them the Brooklyn Museum of Art, California Museum of Photography, LightWork, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art, the Chattanooga African American Museum, the Chicago Historical Society and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.

Gallery Talk by the artist October 2, 12-1 pm The exhibition is sponsored by Fidelity Investments  and is presented in conjunction with "The Futures of Globalization," the Fall 2003 URI Honors Colloquium . The Gallery Talk is a program of the URI Multicultural Center's Diversity Week

Gallery Hours
Tuesday - Friday, 12 noon - 4:00 p.m.  Saturday - Sunday, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

All programs of the Galleries are open to the public without charge. Visit www.uri.edu/artgalleries.





September 30, 2003


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