This virtual event is available for ticket holders to replay for one week
- UCSB Arts & Lectures presents LaToya Ruby Frazier
- Art as Transformation: Using Photography for Social Change
- In this illustrated talk, Frazier discusses how she uses photography to fight injustice and create a more representative self-portrait
- Fraizer relates her conscious approach to photography, opens up more authentic ways to talk about family, inheritance and place, and celebrates the inspirational, transformative power of images
- This presentation will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Kim Yasuda, Chair of the UC Santa Barbara Department of Art
- Part of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ Race to Justice virtual event series
- Ticket holders will be able to replay this event for one week
- Thursday, Feb. 25 / 5 p.m. Pacific / Virtual
- $10 General Public and FREE for UCSB Students (registration required)
- Tickets/Info: (805) 893-3535, www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu
▶ ▶ ▶ Editors/Reviewers: Please include the full name of UCSB Arts & Lectures in all media coverage, including reviews.
“With her camera, Frazier has captured the years-long effects of racism and economic erosion in small towns, such as her native Braddock, Penn. Frazier… has an all-seeing eye that informed her award-winning debut, The Notion of Family.”
UCSB Arts & Lectures presents Visual Artist, Photographer and Advocate, LaToya Ruby Frazier for Art as Transformation: Using Photography for Social Change, an illustrated virtual presentation and Q&A on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. Pacific.
Acclaimed photographer and MacArthur Fellow LaToya Ruby Frazier depicts the unsettling reality of today’s America: post-industrial cities riven by poverty, racism, healthcare inequality and environmental toxicity. Her groundbreaking series “Flint is Family” was named one of the 25 Most Influential Works of American Protest Art Since World War II by The New York Times.
In this illustrated talk, the National Geographic Storytelling Fellow and professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago discusses how she uses photography to fight injustice and create a more representative self-portrait. Drawing 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, she relates her conscious approach to photography, opens up more authentic ways to talk about family, inheritance and place, and celebrates the inspirational, transformative power of images.
This presentation will be followed by a Q&A moderated by Kim Yasuda, Chair of the UC Santa Barbara Department of Art. Ticket holders will be able to replay this event for one week.
The virtual event is part of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ Race to Justice series.
LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER
One of the nation’s most acclaimed photographers, LaToya Ruby Frazier’s work depicts the unsettling reality of today’s America: post-industrial cities riven by poverty, racism, healthcare inequality, and environmental toxicity. By featuring voices and perspectives traditionally erased from the American narrative, the MacArthur “Genius” not only captures our cultural blind spots, she teaches us how art is a powerful tool for social transformation.
Treating art as activism, Frazier’s extraordinary body of work includes The Last Cruze, which documents the devastating effects of a GM plant closure in Lordstown, Ohio; a piercing chronicle of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan for Elle Magazine; and an aerial photography series depicting Memphis, Baltimore, and Chicago in The Atlantic’s Martin Luther King issue. Of those projects, her groundbreaking series “Flint is Family” was named one of the ‘25 Most Influential Works of American Protest Art Since World War II’ by the New York Times. “Frazier spent five months with a family encompassing three generations of women, chronicling daily life at the heart of a man-made ecological disaster. The project was a natural extension of her already well-established commitment to social justice,” the paper writes, noting that Frazier donated the proceeds from her exhibition to help aid the people in Vehicle City.
Frazier was also recently selected as one of nine Storytelling Fellows for National Geographic, where she will complete a year-long project titled ‘Living with Lupus Under COVID-19 in America.’ In it, Frazier will use a personal lens to explore the intersection of racial justice, environmental racism, and the unequal access to medical care in America, as the country faces one of the largest public health crises in modern history.
Frazier’s award-winning first book The Notion of Family offers a penetrating look at “the legacy of racism and economic decline in America’s small towns, as embodied by her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania.” A haunting photographic account of three generations of Frazier women, The Notion of Family is simultaneously personal and political; investigating the impact of deindustrialization on working class Black families in the Rust Belt —a once-prosperous area of steel production in the Northern United States — through the “labour-consumed bodies” of her relatives. Her talks, like her breathtaking work, betray a sobering reality: the American dream has not, and does not, work for Black people. As long as environmental injustice, healthcare inequality, and economic racism continue to thrive, the country is failing its Black citizens. With clarity and insight, Frazier shines a light on how art can be used as a tool for transformation and social good across the nation.
Frazier has received the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. She was chosen by Ebony as one of their 100+ Most Powerful Women of All Time. Her work has been exhibited widely in the US and internationally, with solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Seattle Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Frazier also shot the movie posters for the Grand Prix-winning Spike Lee film BlacKkKlansman, which tells the true story of an American detective who infiltrated the Colorado Springs KKK. Legendary American critic Jerry Saltz writes about her work: “The films, texts, and photographs of this MacArthur ‘genius’ give us one of the strongest artists to emerge in this country this century.”
Frazier holds a BFA in applied media arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in art photography from Syracuse University. She has studied under the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program and was the Guna S. Mundheim Fellow for visual arts at the American Academy in Berlin. She is Associate Professor, Photography, at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has previously held academic and curatorial positions at Yale University School of Art, Rutgers University, and Syracuse University.
RACE TO JUSTICE
Race to Justice: This is a moment of reckoning. As a nation, we are confronting evidence of inequality that reaches every corner of society. Arts & Lectures has a history of bringing complex issues to the forefront. Now, we are spearheading an in-depth look at systemic racism from every angle, including abolition, underlying conditions, reparations, criminal justice and more. Interdisciplinary and cross-departmental, this season-long series engages leading activists, creatives and thinkers to expand our understanding of racism and how race impacts society and to inspire an expansive approach to advancing racial equality.
UCSB ARTS & LECTURES
Founded in 1959, UCSB Arts & Lectures is the largest and most influential arts and lectures organization between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Arts & Lectures annually presents more than a hundred events, from critically acclaimed concerts and dance performances by world-renowned artists to talks by groundbreaking authors and film series at UCSB and Santa Barbara-area venues. With a mission to “educate, entertain and inspire,” A&L also oversees an outreach program that brings visiting artists and speakers into local classrooms and other venues for master classes, open rehearsals, discussions and more, serving K-12 students, college students and the general public.
Tickets are $10 for the general public and FREE for UCSB students (registration required).
For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at (805) 893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.
Race to Justice Lead Sponsors: Marcy Carsey, Connie Frank & Evan Thompson, Patty & John MacFarlane, Sara Miller McCune, Santa Barbara Foundation, Lynda Weinman & Bruce Heavin, Dick Wolf, Zegar Family Foundation.
Race to Justice is presented in association with UC Santa Barbara Campus Partners: Department of Black Studies, Center for Black Studies Research, Division of Social Sciences, Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, Division of Mathematical, Life and Physical Sciences, Division of Student Affairs, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Graduate Division, Bren School for Environmental Science & Management, College of Creative Studies, College of Engineering, MultiCultural Center, Carsey-Wolf Center, The Program in Latin American and Iberian Studies, UCSB Library | UCSB Reads, Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor.
Most Race to Justice events are hour-long programs and include an audience Q&A.
Race to Justice events are FREE for UCSB students (registration required).
UCSB Arts & Lectures gratefully acknowledges our Community Partners the Natalie Orfalea Foundation & Lou Buglioli for their generous support of the 2020-2021 season.