The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) has organized a city-wide exhibit of a photographic project by visiting artist Wing Young Huie at thirteen venues and pop-up locations around Athens beginning Jan. 24. Collectively titled “We Are the Other: A Photographic Portrait of Athens, Georgia,” the more than 100 images displayed will showcase the people Huie documented during his brief residency in April 2016.
A photographic artist who has conducted over a thousand lectures, keynotes and workshops for audiences of all kinds, Huie focuses on how mass-culture images shape our points of view. He was one of three guest artists invited to Athens at the suggestion of consultant Todd Bressi, who has lead development of a public art master plan over the course of the last year. Now near completion, the final draft of the plan was presented to the Athens-Clarke County mayor and commission during a work session on Jan. 10 and is scheduled for a vote to approve the plan at their regular session meeting on Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.
During his visit last spring, Huie hosted “Chalk Talks” for community organizations, businesses, classes and in local establishments around town. “Wing’s approach gets behind the assumptions we make about each other based on what we look like,” said Laura Hoffman, an ACAC commissioner who helped to coordinate the upcoming exhibit. In his talks the artist prompted participants with questions such as, “How do you think people see you?” and “What don’t they see?” These prompts encouraged intimate discussion about identity and cultural assumptions. After discussions prompted by these and other questions, participants helped each other to voice personal insights written on chalkboards and took portraits of one another. The resulting photographs “show people as individuals as well as our shared humanity,” said Hoffman.
Each venue in in the city-wide exhibit will feature different and distinctive displays, and will host a selection of photographs from Jan. 24 through March 2. The complete list of venues, many of which served as “Chalk Talk” locations, includes: Athens-Clarke County Library, Athens Community Council on Aging, Cedar Shoals High School, Cine, Clarke Central High School, Georgia Square Mall, Lyndon House Arts Center, The Sparrow’s Nest, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Strickland’s Restaurant, Tlaloc Restaurant, and the Willson Center for Humanities & Arts.
Huie will return to Athens to deliver a lecture on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. at Cine. Titled “How Photographs Form Us – What Do You See?” the talk and reception that will follow are free and open to the public.
For more information about Wing Young Huie, visit www.wingyounghuie.com.
For more information about the work and initiatives of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission, visit athensculturalaffairs.org.