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Local Take: African American Portraiture In Louisiana (Speakers’ Series)

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The New Orleans Photo Alliance, in collaboration with the Louisiana State Museum, is pleased to present LOCAL TAKE: AFRICAN AMERICAN PORTRAITURE IN LOUISIANA. In this four-part speakers’ series, eight of our state’s finest photographers will show and discuss their work. Presentations will take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Louisiana State Museum’s Arsenal Building (entrance through the Cabildo at Jackson Square) on April 12, April 19, May 10 and May 31. All four sessions are free and open to the public.

The inaugural session on Saturday, April 12 will pair Owen Murphy and Christopher Porche West. The husband-and-wife team of Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick will follow on Saturday, April 19. Eric Waters and Donn Young will present on Saturday, May 10. Judy Cooper and Rick Olivier will close out the series on Saturday, May 31. Each of these photographers has worked intensively to document select aspects of African American life and culture in Louisiana, and collectively, their projects encompass Creoles of Color, Mardi Gras Indians, social aid and pleasure clubs, rural agricultural workers, jazzmen, Zydeco musicians, residents of urban housing projects, and churchgoers in their Sunday best.

The Local Take speakers’ series has been developed as a complement to the exhibition Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits, which is currently on display at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U. S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue. This traveling show – organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery – opened at the Old U. S. Mint on March 13 and will continue there through June 1, 2008. Members of the public who attend the Local Take presentations will receive a voucher for free admission to the Mint.

The New Orleans Photo Alliance is a not-for-profit group of photographers whose mission is to encourage the understanding and appreciation of photography through exhibitions, opportunities and educational programs. Since its inception, the Photo Alliance has sponsored multiple photographic shows and workshops in various locations, including Tarragona, Spain and has coordinated PhotoNOLA: A Month of Photography in New Orleans. PhotoNOLA’s purpose is to showcase and celebrate the photographic arts and to promote cultural tourism through a month-long series of exhibitions and events that take place in December.

New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery hours are Fridays, 3 – 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by appointment. Visit the Alliance on the web at