Sunday, May 31, 2009


Instead of Monday and Thursday this week, the photo shoots will be on Wednesday and Thursday. Same times, same places.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Disappointing turn out today, but no worries. Next week we will try for 3 photo shoot days instead of just 2. Dates/Times are tentative but for now are as follows:

Monday, June 1st 4:00pm-6:00pm
Thursday, June 12th 4:00pm-6:00pm
Location: VCU Fine Arts building

Saturday, June 6th 12:00pm-4:00pm
Location: TBA (somewhere in Northern Virginia)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Next Photo Shoot

Thank you SO SO SO much to those of you who came yesterday to the first photo shoot.

The next photo shoot is this Friday, May 29th from 4:00pm-6:00pm in the VCU Fine Art building. Please email me with any questions about the project:


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


1st photo shoot is today, Tuesday, May 26th at 4:00pm

Next date is Friday, May 29th at 4:00pm

both photo shoots are taking place in the VCU Fine Arts building
1000 W. Broad St
Richmond, VA 23284

please dress as plainly as possible, NO make up, hair down and unstyled
white tees will be provided

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Project Proposal

VCU Summer Fellowship Project Proposal 2009


The main objective is to investigate the taboo nature of racial classification. I want visitors to become cognizant of their racial awareness or unawareness. As an artist I am interested in using creative means to facilitate research. Visitors to the gallery will be confronted by large photographs of different biracial/mixed race people all systematically taken in the same style: each person wearing the same white shirt with the same white background and the same emotionless expression in order to remove culturally identifying clothing or accessories and to focus on the individuals facial features. Instead of titles or names each photograph will have a number. The purpose of replacing each individual’s name with a number is to make the portraits anonymous and give the impression of scientific research. Guests to the exhibit will be given a card onto which they will be asked to speculate the race of each person. The purpose behind asking the visitors to guess the race of each person is to contemplate race and the complexities of racial identification. In today’s atmosphere of extreme political correctness, racial identification has become an uncomfortable topic, as attempts to classify can be inaccurate and possibly offensive. Standardized tests, scholarship applications, some job applications, and even the survey for the Summer Fellowship require applicants to identify their race; usually by giving them a few choices to choose from and asking to select the one that most closely applies. Most often the answer choices are Caucasian, Hispanic, African American, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander. This common system in inadequate considering our complexities – one is frequently a combination of different cultures and ethnicities. Rarely is one of the possible choices “mixed race”, however the option “other” appears on such tests and applications. “Other” only further alienates mixed race/biracial people by the inadequacy of the word. It implies that if one does not fit neatly into a prescribed racial group then they are outside the norm. The title of the exhibition will be “Other Is Not An Option”.


I am planning on compiling at least 50 photographs of biracial/mixed race people over the age of 18. I will create a contractual agreement, which each person will sign in order for me to use their image. The contract will also describe the project and how their image will be used. Each participant will also be asked to identify their race as they would describe themselves. This removes my own bias as the researcher from imposing my views on the participants. Each person will be photographed in exactly the same style as mentioned above. A gallery space will be rented for the presentation of the project. The photographs will then be printed to at least 4’x2’ with a glossy finish on archival paper. Each photograph will be hung minimally with no frame or glass cover using magnets to hold the photograph up against the wall at eye level. Visitors to the exhibit will be given a card on which there will be numbers with blank spaces. The numbers and blank spaces will correspond to each photograph. Visitors will then be asked to guess the race of each person and fill in the blank next to the number that correlates to the photograph. Each card will have a space for guests to write comments and/or email addresses if they wish to be sent the actual answers of each person’s race. This is a rough example of the card:

I also want to publish the data compiled to the web. If the exhibit gains interest, I would like to create a website with many more images where visitors could submit their answers online in order to reach a wider population.


I believe that instead of guessing that all the people in the exhibit are mixed race/biracial, most people will try to associate them with one predominate race. I also believe that through the process of participating in this project, people would feel free to talk about race and their own experiences with racial identification.