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"Esse Quam Videri: Muslim Self Portraits" Gallery Talk, reception Oct. 16

10/10/2012

Artist Todd Drake
Artist Todd Drake
Community artist and activist, painter and photographer Todd Drake will present a gallery talk about his work at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in 212 MacMillan Hall. A reception will follow. An exhibition of his series “Esse Quam Videri: Muslim Self Portraits” is on view at MacMillan Hall, first and second floor lobbies, Oct. 15 through Nov. 16. The events are part of a series on “Muslims in America” sponsored by the Center for American and World Cultures.

Drake is an artist in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Global Initiatives. Since 2007, he has worked with the Muslim American community in North Carolina to create the series “Esse Quam Videri: Muslim Self Portraits.” He has expanded the project to include stereotype-breaking narratives of Muslims living in the Middle East and Europe.

“Esse Quam Videri” – “To Be Rather Than to Seem” - North Carolina state motto

Muslims from a variety of backgrounds and living in a variety of communities participated in this series by working collaboratively with Drake to realize their own vision. Photographs, collaged images and self-drawn portraits were created with short essays to add context.

Drake creates art that is shaped by community. He has worked with a wide variety of communities including Alzheimer’s patients, employees at an exotic nightclub, long distance truck drivers, and refugees from Vietnam to create his large painting series “et al.”

In his gallery talk Drake will share some of his unique experiences and explain his creative process. He will discuss how visual art can be used to address stereotypes, create bridges of understanding and give a voice to the sometimes voiceless.

The lecture and exhibition are sponsored by the Center for American and World Cultures with support from many campus organizations.

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