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W&L’s Staniar Gallery Presents Renowned Artist LaToya Ruby Frazier The April 8 talk is titled "Art as Transformation: Using Photography for Social Change."

web-LaToya-Ruby-Frazier-Courtesy-of-the-John-D.-and-Catherine-T.-MacArthur-Foundation W&L's Staniar Gallery Presents Renowned Artist LaToya Ruby FrazierLaToya Ruby Frazier

Two student interns in Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery, Chloe Parsons ’22 and Mary Stephen Straske ’21, researched academic art programming during the Winter Term. The duo was ambitious in their research, and they designed an event for the entire W&L community. Thanks to their hard work, internationally renowned artist LaToya Ruby Frazier will give a public artist talk on April 8 at 5:30 p.m. at W&L.

The talk, titled “Art as Transformation: Using Photography for Social Change,” is open to the public to view online. Registration is required and can be accessed at go.wlu.edu/frazier.

“It’s been incredible to be immersed in every aspect of this process,” said Parsons. “I think the most gratifying part is seeing so many W&L faculty, staff and students get just as excited as we are about this event as they help spread the word. There’s something particularly rewarding about bringing our community together during such a turbulent time with so much isolation. In the future, this feeling will definitely motivate me to continue to use the arts as a medium to bring people together.”

Frazier is a contemporary artist who uses photography, video and performance as social activism to shed light on injustices affecting marginalized communities. She describes her artistic practice as building “visual archives that address industrialization, rustbelt revitalization, environmental justice, healthcare inequity, family and communal history.”

In her work, Frazier draws from her book “The Notion of Family” as well as from works of art by Frederick Douglass, August Sander, Julia Margaret Cameron and Langston Hughes. Frazier’s photography aims to open up more authentic ways to talk about family, inheritance and place and celebrates the inspirational, transformative power of images.

A 2015 recipient of a MacArthur Award, Frazier has received widespread attention for her “Flint is Family” series that follows the story of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Frazier’s visit is sponsored in part by the Frank Parsons Fund for Photographic Arts, the Pamela H. Simpson Endowment for the Arts and the Department of Theater, Dance and Film Studies at W&L.