W-S Portrait Project coming to a neighborhood near you

W-S Portrait Project coming to a neighborhood near you
September 06
04:00 2018

The Winston-Salem Portrait Project will be looking to engage the entire city in creating a series of permanent public art pieces that capture the communities they’re in.

The City Council approved a contract for $200,000 with artists Kisha Bari and Jasmin Chang for the Portrait Project on Aug. 20.  The project will feature nine steel and glass sculptures that will display portrait photography of local residents.   There will be sculptures in each of the city’s eight wards and one located downtown. The downtown sculpture is planned to be a set of blocks, representing how community forms the building blocks of society, and the others will be smaller installations. The location of the permanent pieces and subject matter of the photos will be determined as the artists do community outreach starting this fall. The pieces are expected to be completed and installed in 2020.

City/County Public Art Commission conceived of the project as a way to capture the many faces of Winston-Salem.

“We really wanted to create a project that brought us together and to show all the different facets of Winston-Salem, all of the different aspects of our community,” said Endia Beal, one of the members of the appointed citizens commission.

Beal, who is a local photographer and director of the Diggs Gallery, was among those who helped pick Bari and Chang out of more than 30 proposals the commission received for the project. Beal said the quality of their work and their presentation on how to include the community in the project made the duo stand out. She said she was also impressed that, after only being in the city a few days, they were able to give examples during their presentation of the sorts of Winston-Salem locals they might feature.

Bari  is a portrait photographer and Chang is a photographic producer. Both are based in New York and are known for their ability to capture the stories of local communities, like Bari’s portrait documentary, “How Sandy Hit Rockaway,” about those affected by Hurricane Sandy and Chang’s “Community Heroes,” highlighting unsung heroes in Brooklyn neighborhoods.

The money for the project will be used to fund community outreach, a local corridor, photographic workshops and shoots, travel expenses, the fabrication and installation of the pieces along with the artists’ fees.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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