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Austin Peay’s Art & Design Welcomes Photographer Shelia Pree Bright for CECA Visiting Artist Speaker Series

Sheila Pree Bright

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The Austin Peay State University Department of Art+Design, with support from The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA), is pleased to welcome acclaimed international photographic artist Sheila Pree Bright for a public lecture on Tuesday, March 14, 6 p.m. in Heydel Hall. 

Her work has been featured in the Washington Post and the New York Times. She currently lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Bright is the recipient of several nominations and awards. Recently, she has been awarded the commission for Picturing the South by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. In 2006 she became nationally known, winning the Center prize award, formally Santa Fe Prize, for her Suburbia series. 

“Pree Bright is the author of #1960Now: Photographs of Civil Rights Activists and Black Lives Matter Protest, published by Chronicle Books,” Michael Dickins, chair of the APSU Visiting Artist Speaker Committee, said. “Also, her work is included in the book and exhibition Posing Beauty in African American Culture. She appeared in the 2014 feature-length documentary film, ‘Through the Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People.’ She also appeared in the 2016 feature-length documentary film, ‘Election Day: Lens Across America.’ She is doing important work as an embedded documentarian in telling distinctly American stories that often get glossed-over or overlooked about parts of our society that often get glossed-over or overlooked.” 

Her photographs have been exhibited at the High Museum of Art Atlanta; Smithsonian National Museum of African American Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond; The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; The Lecia Gallery, New York; Turner Contemporary, London; Saatchi Gallery, London; Crystal Bridges Museum, of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; The Gallatin Gallery, New York and International Center of Photography, New York. 

According to Pree Bright, “As a Photographic Artist, I am interested in the life of those individuals and communities that are often unseen in the world. My objective is to capture images that allow us to experience those who are unheard as they contemplate or voice their reaction to ideas and issues that are shaping their world. In this process, what I shoot creates contemporary stories about social, political and historical context not often seen in the visual communication of traditional media and fine art platforms. My work captures and presents aspects of our culture, and sometimes counterculture, that challenges the typical narratives of Western thought and power structures.” 

Her work is included in numerous private and public collections, such as Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC..; The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; The David C. Driskell Center, College Park, Maryland; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago; Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama; Harns Museum of Art, Gainesville, Florida; Telfair Museums, Savannah, Georgia and Microsoft Art Collection, Redmond, Washington. Sheila Pree Bright is currently based in Atlanta. 

For more on Pree Bright and her work, visit her website or follow her on Instagram: @SheilaPreeBright. For more on this lecture, contact Dickins at dickinsm@apsu.edu 

For future CECA Visiting Artist Speaker Series events, visit Austin Peay’s website. All events are free and open to the public. All ages are welcome. 

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