New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery
1111 St. Mary St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
Sunday, Dec 13, 7-8pm
Free and open to the public
Sarah Wilson, 2008 PhotoNOLA Review Prize recipient, will present an artist’s talk about her series, BLIND PROM, which will be on view at the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery. This award-winning project features full color images, which convey the energy and excitement of a group of marginalized teens as they participate in the all-American ritual of attending a formal prom.
Wilson began photographing visually impaired teenagers in 2005 while working as the field producer and stills photographer on the upcoming PBS-funded documentary “The Eyes of Me.” For the past three years she has documented prom night at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in Austin, where she serves as the official prom photographer, producing the students’ formal portraits and capturing candid moments throughout the night.
In a one-hour slideshow and lecture presentation Wilson will discuss photographs featured in the exhibition and share additional images from the school that reach beyond prom night. She will also elaborate on this unique high school and her relationship to it.
Photographer Sarah Wilson explores issues of community and culture through environmental portraiture.
Wilson’s portraits of the citizens of Jasper, Texas, following the dragging murder of James Byrd, Jr. have been acquired by the permanent collections at both the University of Texas and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. After nine years living in New York City and receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from NYU, Sarah Wilson returned to her hometown of Austin, Texas, where she works as an editorial and commercial photographer.
For the past three years, Sarah Wilson has volunteered as the prom night photographer for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Starting with hair and makeup in the dorms, through the last dance at midnight, BLIND PROM documents the entire prom ritual. These images memorialize this rite of passage for the attendees and their parents. Wilson hopes that the work will also serve a larger audience as a medium for consideration of what life might be like as a blind teenager.
BLIND PROM was awarded the PhotoNOLA Review Prize in 2008. In the summer of 2009, the project showed in New York City at the Foley Gallery and in November 2009 at China’s Lishui Photography Festival.
BLIND PROM will be presented by the New Orleans Photo Alliance Gallery at PhotoNOLA in December 2009.