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Art show spotlights African American social justice issues

By Franklin Nelson
On March 1, 2019

Harris’s artwork. Courtesy photo

At Grambling State University the arts have a way of speaking to us in some shape, form or fashion. We immerse ourselves into the essence of Black excellence and every day we pay homage to those who have paved the way and strive to bring awareness so that we can grow to pave a better tomorrow. 


In light of Black history Month, Grambling State University’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts presented an exhibition featuring L. Kasimu Harris. The exhibition, titled Truth, By Any Means Necessary by L. Kasimu Harris, was held inside the Dunbar Gallery from Jan. 29 through Feb. 26.  


Harris’s foundation as a visual communicator is fact-driven, rooted in journalism and the quest for the truth remains paramount in all facets of his storytelling. 


Art has provided Harris a medium to freely explore, examine and recreate factual events or issues that are not permissible in news.


Harris’s approach best reflects his “constructed realities” in which he examines social justice issues in the African American community which provide a means for visual and psychological studies to examine racial inequities and the imbalance that pervades class, education and neighborhoods. 


Harris’s artistic practice deposits a number of different strategic and conceptual devices in order to amplify a fundamental truth that exists. 


“‘Truth, By Any Means Necessary’ is a visual conversation among the work that uses several approaches to arrive at different perspectives and verities,” Harris said. 


The exhibit sparked a conversation among the student body. 


Indigo Patterson and Bianca Walker - both art majors - said the exhibit encapsulated a powerful perspective which opened their eyes to seeing the certain political and social issues in a whole new light. 


Rodrecas Davis, the department head of the Department of Art at GSU, said Harris “seeks to continue exploring and examining issues that captivate and upset me.”


Harris received an master of arts in journalism (concentration in Southern studies) from the University of Mississippi and a bachelor of business administration from Middle Tennessee State University. 


Harris’s previous work has been exhibited at Smack Mellon Gallery in New York, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco and numerous other national and international venues. 


Harris also served as a 2018 Artist-in-Residence at the Center for Photography at Woodstock, N.Y. 

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