TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image
Past Events

Thursday Night Photo Talk w/ Ron Tarver

An Overdue Conversation With My Father

December 10, 2020

This project involves the manipulation and reinterpretation of photographs from the past, exploring the ways that photographic images made in the mid 20th century represent dialogues about race, class, and social relationships still relevant today. The more than 300 photographs and over 1000 negatives My father Richard Tarver, produced of the Black residents in the small Oklahoma town of Fort Gibson during the 1940 and 50s, represent a time when oppressive Jim Crow laws were in place. While those laws have since been abolished, recent events prove their legacy lives on. These reimagined images engage a troubling past with an equally problematic present.

Ron Tarver received a BA from Northeastern State University (OK) and an MFA from the University of the Arts. He is Visiting Assistant Professor of Studio Art on faculty at Swarthmore College. Before Swarthmore he was a staff photojournalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 32 years where he shares a 2012 Pulitzer Prize. He was also nominated for three Pulitzers and honored with awards from World Press Photos and The Society of Professional Journalists among others. He is co-author of the book We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, published by Harper Collins.

In 2001 he received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He has received funding and grants from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Independence foundation among others. Most recently he earned a solo exhibition at The Print Center in Philadelphia during their 94th Annual International Completion. His fine artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in many museum, corporate and private collections including the National Museum of American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem.

Support for Thursday Night Photo Talks is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Artist fees for the Thursday Night Photo Talks have been underwritten by The Lillian F. and Jerome L. Sindler Fund for Visual Media.

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