The Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists in partnership with the Grove Hall Neighborhood Development Corporation, Greater Grove Hall Main Streets, Earthos Institute, Dudley Square Main Streets, and the Mother Caroline Academy, presents Roxbury: A Heritage Explored featuring photographs by Hakim Raquib and Tony Irving.
Roxbury: A Heritage Explored offers a visual snapshot of some of Roxbury’s most iconic sites recalling its architectural, social and political history from colonial times to the present. The exhibition is part of an ongoing, participatory process of developing the Roxbury Memory Heritage Trail and Public Art Corridor. The Trail will create an interactive network of heritage and historic sites, public artworks, and places of cultural or socio-historical interest generally located between Franklin Park and Dudley MBTA Station. Using new technologies, social and digital media, it will increase knowledge and appreciation of Roxbury’s people and history through the exploration of its compact geography. A project of the Grove Hall Neighborhood Development Corporation, Greater Grove Hall Main Streets, Earthos Institute, the Trail has been partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, New England Fund for the Arts, and the Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust Fund of the City of Boston.
Among the images in the exhibition are the Shirley Eustis House from the colonial era, First Church in Roxbury built at the turn of the 19th century, Fort Hill Standpipe built just after the Civil War, Haitian Baptist Church which occupies the former Blue Hill Avenue Synagogue, Eternal Presence as a commissioned work by Roxbury-born John Wilson, the renovated Dudley Station, among other sites. Using computer enhancements and new compositional devices, the dramatic digital images often force viewers to look afresh at places that are familiar. Some works overlay multiple images to provide different simultaneous views of the same subject. Such devices increase the interpretative possibilities available to artists as they encourage us to see anew our everyday environment.
Hakim Raquib is a member of the African American Master Artist-In-Residency Program (AAMARP) at Northeastern University and is internationally known for his fine arts photography. Many suites of work reflect his travels in such visually exciting places as Spain, North and East Africa, and throughout the Americas. As exciting are his evocative photographs of cultural extravaganzas such as the notable Boston Caribbean Carnival. Raquib’s recent art explores new directions that combine photography with various other media to create daring installations that push the boundaries of photography. Tony Irving is active in greater Boston where he provides photography services to many corporate, institutional and individual clients. He also documents events in his community as a matter of personal interest.