Deep Roots, curated by Lisa Dubois, featuring photographers Samantha Box, Burroughs Lamar, Carmen Lizardo, Richard Louissaint, and Joana Toro, includes visual narratives that poignantly connect the artists with their beloved heritage, past and present. The photo essays explore themes of history, survival, and tradition; depicting the various ways each photographer has retained the customs and culture of their birthplace in their adopted land.
Curator, Lisa DuBois on Deep Roots.
About the Exhibition
Meet the Artists
Meet the Curator
Meet the Venue
In-Person Exhibition Details
About the Exhibition
The exhibition Deep Roots tells visual stories on traditions and the connections between the photographer and his or her beloved heritage. Each photographer in this exhibition poignantly documented aspects of life that exist within their culture. Through these photographs you can see the strong connections between the past and present. The photo essays portray how each photographer integrated their culture into their life in America. While they are far away from their family’s birthplace; they honor their heritage in their own neighborhoods to strengthen the connections between themselves and their homeland. The sensitive documentation from each photographer contributes to preservation of their culture.
One of the ways Samantha Box connects with her homeland is through photographing food. She uses herself as a model and creates moving self-portraits that have some connection to her identity and culture.
Burroughs Lamar has captured special moments in Harlem. He expertly photographs traditions in Harlem such as food, religion and entertainment. Each image expresses an important aspect of life in Harlem.
Carmen Lizardo uses special techniques, a sense of history and a vivid imagination to create surreal images. Carmen uses antique photos, water and objects to produce stunning photo art.
Richard Louissaint skillfully photographs his family to show the feminine side of Haiti in his own backyard. The images of the women in the photos show strength and beauty and pride. The pride in his culture is seen in these images
Joana Toro poignantly portrays life inside of a Puerto Rican social club. Each image is shot in a way that we as observers feel connected to the club through Joana’s photographs. These precious moments are preserved with Joana’s skillful eye.
Samantha Box is a Jamaican-born, Bronx-based photographer. In her studio-based practice, she uses self-portraiture, sound, and installation to explore her intersecting diasporic Caribbean histories and identities. This work has been exhibited at the Houston Center of Photography (2019), and the Andrew Freedman House (2020), and will be the focus of her upcoming residency at the Center of Photography at Woodstock in August 2021. Her previous documentary work focused on New York City’s community of queer and TGNB youth of color, and was widely recognized, notably with a NYFA Fellowship (2010), and shown, most prominently, as part of the ICP Museum’s Perpetual Revolution (2017) exhibition. This work is part of the permanent collections of the Open Society Foundation, En Foco, the Museum of Fine Art Houston, and Light Work, where she was in residence in 2015. Box holds an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from the International Center of Photography/Bard College (2019) and a certificate in Photojournalism and Documentary Studies from the International Center of Photography (2006). She was a member of the Bronx Museum of the Arts’ AIM Fellowship program in 2021.
Burroughs Lamar embarked upon a personal photography project specifically because of the global phenomenon of gentrification that, of course, is having its ongoing effect on my native Harlem community—and my sensitivity to how it has impacted individual lives, its culture and social cohesion. Over 12 years (2008 to 2020), I photographed this community as comprehensively as possible through its events, activities, organizations, businesses and personages. Given my being born and living most of my life here, afforded their trust that I would not use their images for financial gain or exploitation. The project has gained recognition in two venerable Harlem institutions: I have 6 photographs in the permanent collection in the Schomburg Library for Research in Black Culture and 4 photographs in the Studio Museum Harlem book, Harlem: A Century in Images, Pub. 2011. When it was reviewed by the NY Times, online book review, one of my images was featured. Mr. Lamar is a twice graduate of The City College with BA in Management and Administration and an MA in English (Creative Writing) and studied at the Hunter College’s MSW program.
Carmen Lizardo was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 19. She holds a BFA in Photography and an MFA in Digital Media from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. While her degrees are in Photography and Digital art, using multiple media has always been an important part of her work, which includes installations, antiquarian photography, drawings, paintings and multiple printmaking processes. Lizardo’s artwork has been included in many exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. She had received several awards including a NYFA Fellowship in Photography. Lizardo was one of five American Artists of Latino descent awarded with a national /international travel and production grant from the Institute of Training and Development, in Amherst, MA and the US department of Cultural Affairs. This year she received a full grant from The Sustainable Arts Foundation. Lizardo lives and works in the Hudson Valley with her husband, her two daughters and her dog.
Richard Louissaint is a first-generation Haitian-American filmmaker and photographer from New York City. Growing up in Queens, he was exposed to a wide spectrum of the Caribbean diaspora but was primarily influenced by Haitian and African-American culture. His work centers on people of color, especially those of Haitian descent, through portraiture, film and documentaries. His work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Wilmer Jennings Gallery at Kenkeleba, and most recently at the Wyckoff House Museum. His films have screened at the Haiti Film Fest, New York Short Film Festival, and Newark International Film Festival. Richard also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.
Joana Toro is a self-taught Colombian photographer based in both New York City and Bogota, Colombia. Her work explores issues of immigration, human rights, and identity and was featured on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Open Society Foundations, Photoword China Magazine, and Refinery29, amongst others. She worked as a staff photographer with the major magazines and newspapers in Colombia before she migrated to the United States in 2011 to further her career as a documentarian and visual artist. In 2019 she published the Hello I am Kitty book (Tragaluz Editores Medellin) in a solo exhibition in Festival Gabriel Garcia Márquez in Medellin Colombia. In 2019 she was invited to have a solo exhibition of the photo series Colombia On My Mind exhibit in the Forum Mondial Normandie pour la paix 75 anniversary, in Caen France and also be part of the Femmes Exposent festival in Hulgate, France.
Meet the Curator
Lisa Dubois is an artist, curator and photographer who was born in Harlem. She received her professional photography degree from the Germain School of Photography, with an award in photojournalism. She also earned a doctorate in Metaphysical Science. Her first job as a photographer was for The Black American News. Later she went on to work with stock agencies and publications such as The Village Voice and the New York Post. In 2017 she founded the X Gallery. Here she featured the work of many local artists while creating her own art. Lisa has been recognized by the New York times and the Guardian for her work as a photographer, artist and curator.
DuBois ’s work has been shown at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Gordon Parks Museum, and around the world . Her most recent project was as the creative consultant and curator for ArtontheAve. She is a member of En Foco, a contributor to the Social Documentary Network, and to the Edge of Humanity Magazine and Routes magazine.
Meet the Venue
The Children’s Art Carnival was launched in 1969 by Harlem artist, Betty Blayton Taylor, as an outreach program of the Museum of Modern Art. It moved to its current location in 1975 – a four story brownstone on Harlem’s historic Hamilton Terrace. After more than forty years of exclusively serving children, families and schools throughout New York City, The Carnival is revising its Mission to include the development and support of emerging and professional artists, in response to a growing need reverberating throughout the Harlem community. In addition to providing arts education to young people, the organization will now utilize its building to offer affordable exhibition and event space in its future Pat Jones Parlor, as well as an on-going Artist-in-Residence program which provides work studios, exhibition and professional development opportunities for community artists, while linking artists to neighborhood youth through its arts education programs.
Michael Unthank has built a career in support of community based artistic expression and development. Through his work as an arts administrator and as an independent consultant, he has provided leadership in the arts to spark special initiatives to build new partnerships for cultural development with public and private funders, artists and local and regional arts organizations.
From 2008-2012, Unthank directed the Harlem Arts Alliance, an arts service organization serving artists, arts activists and arts and cultural institutions. Earlier, as director of State/Local Partnerships for the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), he was responsible for statewide funding programs targeting community- based arts organizations and initiating professional development and leadership training programs for arts professionals. He currently serves as a trustee of The Children’s Art Carnival in Harlem where he is working to develop programming and services for community members, the area’s emerging artists and on building collaborations and partnerships with other local arts organizations.
Mr. Unthank describes his first love as working with communities pursuing arts and cultural expression in all forms.
In-Person Exhibition Details
En Foco, in collaboration with The Children’s Art Carnival, presents Deep Roots– an Apartment Gallery Series exhibition featuring photographers Samantha Box, Burroughs Lamar, Carmen Lizardo, Richard Louissaint, and Joana Toro. Deep Roots includes visual narratives that poignantly connect the artists with their beloved heritage, past and present. The photo essays explore themes of history, survival, and tradition; depicting the various ways each photographer has retained the customs and culture of their birthplace in their adopted land.
Deep Roots is on view by appointment only at the Children’s Art Carnival, located at 62 Hamilton Terrace, NY NY 10031.
Gallery Hours Saturdays, 1pm-5pm: July 31, August 7, and August 14 Viewing is also available by appointment. Email [email protected] to coordinate a gallery visit.
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 24, 3:00 – 5:00 pm ET. Please note that masks will be required for entry. Space is limited to ten individuals per 15-minute interval.