Mother and Son Photographers Bring Exhibit to GMU

Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas bring "Progeny" exhibition to George Mason University's Fine Art Gallery.

School of Art and the African and African American Studies Program present “Progeny,” a photography exhibition that is the first collaborative effort between Deborah Willis and her son Hank Willis Thomas.

An exhibition lecture by Deborah Willis is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16 at 1:30 p.m., followed by an opening reception for “Progeny” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Named one of the “100 Most Important People in Photography” by American Photography Magazine, Deborah Willis received her doctorate in cultural studies from George Mason University in 2000, and now heads the photography and imaging program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.  She is the recipient of Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. Her work focuses on the African American female form, and she is considered one of the nation’s leading historians and curators of African American photography and culture.

Hank Willis Thomas investigates themes of identity, history and popular culture and critiques advertising and cultural norms through his work, which also focuses on African American subjects. He received his B.F.A. through the Tisch School of the Arts and his M.F.A. in photography and M.A. in Visual Criticism through the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. His work is in numerous public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The Fine Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and other times by appointment.

“Progeny”, which originally appeared in the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University in New York City, is on display in the Fine Art Gallery of the Art & Design Building at George Mason University from Feb. 1– 29, 2012.          

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