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FAU Announces Black History Month Artist Lecture

            BOCA RATON (February 19, 2008) – On the occasion of Black History Month, Florida Atlantic University’s University Galleries in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters presents a lecture with Cedric Smith, a self-taught African American artist whose photographs, now on display at FAU as part of the southXeast: Contemporary Southeastern Art exhibition, capture a piece of the history of African-Americans in this country.   The lecture will take place on Wednesday, February 27 at noon in the Visual Arts Building, room 105, of the Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road.   The event is free and open to the public.

 Cedric Smith began his career as a painter, employing collaged elements in his work, and he recently began to work in photography. In the photographs on display at FAU, Smith employs a collage or montage technique where he places historical sepia-toned studio photographs of African-Americans over more current color images of the rural South. Smith’s selected black and white photos against colorful backgrounds are graphically striking, yet sentimental.   They suggest familial and community narratives, but also portray the poverty that surrounds African-Americans in the rural South. Like these relatively new photographic works, Smith’s previous and continuing work as a painter employs strong juxtaposition. The photographic works, while simpler and more direct than the paintings, remain elusive and mysterious as we wonder about the fate of the photographic subjects and what the artist meant by placing them in somewhat identifiable yet ambiguous settings.

Smith was born in Philadelphia, PA and currently lives and works in Atlanta, G A and Savannah, GA. He has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions since 1998 at the New York Historical Society, New York, NY; Barbara Archer Gallery, Atlanta, GA; and Beverly Libby Gallery, Atlanta, GA.   Smith’s work is also included in public collections such as the Francis Walker Museum in Thomaston, GA; the Tubman Museum in Macon, GA; and the Morris Brown College in Atlanta, GA.   His inclusion in the 2006 Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery, an exhibition of 32 African-American artists at the New York Historical Society, is his most prominent showing to date. Smith’s works will remain on view in the Ritter Art Gallery on the Boca Raton campus through Saturday, March 8.   For further information about Cedric Smith’s lectures and the southXeast: Contemporary Southeastern Art exhibition, call 561-297-2966.

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