Famous artist brings exhibit to campus

Florida A&M University will soon have the chance to display the celebrated works of famed photographer Gordon Parks.

The exhibit, which is titled “Gordon Parks: The Crossroads,” will make its way to campus on Nov. 16 through Jan. 16 in the black archives.

The exhibit features 45 of Parks’ most compelling pieces. The art2art foundation collaborated with the Gordon Parks Foundation to send the exhibit on a nationwide tour.

Director of the Division of Journalism Dorothy Bland began the effort to bring the exhibit to Tallahassee. Bland, who said she is an avid fan of Parks’ work, said she fell in love with the exhibit while in California this summer.

“I saw the exhibit in San Francisco and it was amazing,” Bland said. “After that I just used my contacts to try and negotiate the deal.”

The exhibit started in April at the Rosa parks Library and Museum in Alabama. From there, the exhibit traveled to San Jose State University, and will continue on to FAMU this fall.

Bland said the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication is proud to be one of only two historically black colleges and universities with the honor of displaying the exhibit.

North Carolina A&T University will host the exhibit after FAMU on Feb. 1, 2008.

“We are lucky that we got the exhibit to be honest,” Bland said.

Director of the Division of Graphic Communication Arvid Mukes said the exhibit, which was to be displayed in the School of Journalism Lecture Hall, would serve as a building block for the university.

“We hope that having this exhibit will be a good way to get similar events to come here to campus,” Mukes said. “We are making plans to have at least two exhibits similar to this every year and initiate it as an annual event.”

Bland said to her surprise, many students are not familiar with Parks’ prominent works. She said the exhibit might help remedy the lack of knowledge.

“I want students to realize that we do have a rich history,” Bland said. “Gordon Parks is an American gem.”

Mukes said one of his first goals after securing the exhibit was to build bridges throughout the community.

“We have the opportunity to bring people who have never been to FAMU to come here and see something special,” Mukes said.

On-campus public relations organization PRodigy is spearheading the events promotion.

“We are about to start distributing fliers across campus,” said PRodigy member Tenicka Morning, a fourth-year public relations student from Orlando. “Then we are going to have media blitz across the city to get more community support.”

Bland said above all, the exhibit is for the glorification of the student body.

“I hope it inspires students,” Bland said. “[Parks] produced some phenomenal works and part of our job is to unlock that genius.”