by Maya Tetali ’21 (she/her)

Image courtesy of Van Every/Smith Galleries

The current exhibition on view in the Van Every/Smith Galleries, True Likeness, has extended its run to March 28th, 2021, allowing for another full month for visitors to see the show and attend virtual events related to the exhibition that discuss topics such as complexity of selfhood and celebration of human experience.

One such event is a two-part experience involving photographer, Endia Beal, whose work Mock Interview is currently featured in the exhibition. Beal is a North Carolina-based artist, curator, and author who uses photography and video to document the experiences of people of color, especially within the corporate world. She seeks to merge fine arts with social injustice through her portrait photography. On February 16th at 5pm, Endia will join Lia Newman, Director of Van Every/Smith Galleries, in a conversation regarding four bodies of her work including Office Scene, Can I Touch It, 9 to 5, and Am I What You’re Looking For? These works feature personal and contemporary stories of women of color within corporate spaces.

“Beal’s work, Mock Interview was important for us to include because the performative piece addresses systemic racism (and misogyny) — something that Beal and other women of color confront daily. I think Beal’s work is effective because it relies on understanding and empathy to inspire change,” Newman said.

Along with her artist talk, Beal will also conduct a virtual diversity, equity, and inclusion workshop entitled Artistic Introspective, which will take place on February 18th from 4:30-6:30pm. Both students and faculty alike are invited to take part in the hands-on workshop, which is designed to use art as a teaching tool for acknowledging bias, promoting inclusion and becoming allies for one another. The main objectives of Beal’s workshop are to strengthen relationships amongst colleagues, develop an appreciation for diverse perspectives, and examine the importance of empathy, vulnerability, and sharing personal experiences. Marquia Humphries ‘22, one of the Stories Yet To Be Told Interns for the Van Every/Smith Galleries, was invited to be one of the facilitators of the workshop to help aid productive discussion that will stem from portraits and personal stories that Beal has collected from her subjects. 

“As enthralled as I am to be part of such an important workshop, I most look forward to hearing the new insights each individual draws from Endia’s lecture and how they plan on applying it to life at Davidson,” Humphries added.

To join the workshop, email Lia Newman at linewman@davidson.edu.