En Foco in collaboration with Blue Sky Gallery Announces Arts in Activism: Photography and Police Reform, a panel discussion with Jon Henry and Adilka Pimentel, moderated by Alicia Grullon.
Friday, March 26, 2021, 7pm
En Foco and Blue Sky Gallery are pleased to announce the upcoming panel discussion featuring 2020 Photography Fellowship awardee Jon Henry, and works from his current exhibition, Stranger Fruit at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland. Stranger Fruit, engages with the visual language of the Pieta, illustrating the fear among black mothers, losing their sons to police-involved violence. The panel will focus on the images presented by Jon Henry, in conversation with Adilka Pimental, activist, poet, and Lead Organizer with Make the Road NY, specializing in Police Reform actions and policy and moderated by artist/activist Alicia Grullon, highlighting the intersections of art and activism, the lasting generational effects of broken windows policing, using Henry’s images as a vehicle for discussion. Stranger Fruit is on view February 4–March 27, 2021, by appointment, and available online at blueskygallery.org.
About the Panelists
Jon Henry is a visual artist working with photography and text, from Queens NY, now residing in Brooklyn. His work reflects on family, socio-political issues, grief, trauma and healing within the African American community. His work has been published both nationally and internationally and exhibited in numerous galleries including Aperture Foundation, Smack Mellon, and BRIC among others. Known foremost for cultural activism in his work, his projects include studies of athletes from different sports and their representations. He was recently awarded the Arnold Newman Grant for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture and a 2020 En Foco Fellowship. Henry was named one of LensCulture’s Emerging Artists for 2019 and won the Film Photo Prize for Continuing Film Project sponsored by Kodak.
Alicia Grullón is from and based in New York City. Grullón’s works have been shown in numerous group exhibitions including The 8th Floor, Bronx Museum of the Arts, BRIC House for Arts and Media, School of Visual Arts, El Museo del Barrio, Columbia University, Socrates Sculpture Park, Performa 11, Old Stone House and Art in Odd Places. She has received grants from the Puffin Foundation, Bronx Council on the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York, and Franklin Furnace Archives.Her art activist work led her to be one of the initial and current organizers for The People’s Cultural Plan (The PCP), a collection of artists and cultural workers addressing inadequacies with the city’s first proposed cultural plan. Grullón has served as a mentor for the New York Foundation of the Arts’s Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program and as Artist Catalyst for The Laundromat Project from 2016-2018. As an artist and community fellow for Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery, she worked closely with a network of stakeholders and artists on a three-year advisory committee to better connect the art gallery to urgent community needs in Harlem. Grullon is an adjunct at The School of Visual Arts and the City University of New York.
Adilka Pimentel is a Black Latinx Queer Organizer who was born in the Dominican Republic, immigrated to the U.S. in 1991 and grew up in Brooklyn. She has been involved in community organizing and advancing public policy in New York State for the last 18 years (as a youth leader at Make the Road and then as staff) around immigration, education reform, affordable housing and police violence. Adilka organizes with Black and Brown youth through political education sessions, Know Your Rights sessions, Cop Watch, leadership development and the Arts.
En Foco, Inc. is a non-profit that supports contemporary primarily U.S.-based photographers of African, Asian, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander heritage. Founded in 1974, En Foco makes their work visible to the art world, yet remains accessible to under-serviced communities. Through exhibitions, workshops, events, and publications, it provides professional recognition, honoraria, and assistance to photographers as they grow into different stages of their careers.
Blue Sky’s mission is to educate the public about photography through exhibitions, publications, and dialogue; and to further the careers and artistic development of the artists shown. Founded as the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts by a group of five young photographers in 1975, Blue Sky quickly established itself as an important venue for local photography. In a short period of time, the organization expanded its offerings to include national and international artists, many of whom exhibited at Blue Sky early in their careers Blue Sky’s special endeavor continues to be the exhibition of emerging and established artists that exemplify the finest in photographic vision and innovation.