*FREE RSVP* Ron Tarver: SHINE Gallery Opening Reception (Philly)

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RSVP to join artist Ron Tarver and curator Susanna Gold at Unique Photo Philly for the opening reception of SHINE.

In this current body of work, Ron explores his own racial identity and experiences as a Black artist by addressing the problematic nature of Black memorabilia as a decorative art. Most created during the Jim Crow era, these objects present demeaning representations of African Americans through exaggerated facial features such as lips, noses, and hair. The word "shine" also emerged during Jim Crow as a racist slur towards Black people, commenting on African Americans who made a living shining the shoes of white people. Tarver used a large format film camera and printed in black and white on a highly reflective archival paper further emphasizing the shine, or glossy surface of these objects. While Black memorabilia is widely collected and still being produced, some with very high market values, they represent a legacy of racism and belittlement of a people simply due to skin color.

*Light refreshments and snacks will be served.
*Gallery will be on display until 10/9/22.

Ron and Susanna will also be hosting a free film screening of Chico Colvard's BLACK MEMORABILIA on Sunday, September 25th (2pm - 3:30pm). RSVP to reserve your seat.

Available Dates

There are currently no upcoming classes.

RON TARVER is an Associate Professor of Studio Art specializing in Photography at Swarthmore College. He previously served as staff photographer at the Philadelphia Inquirer for 32 years where he shared a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his work on a series documenting school violence in the Philadelphia public school system and was nominated for a second Pulitzer in 2013 for a series exploring dog-training programs in prisons.

A recipient of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Tarver has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Independence Foundation. He was named one of the Delaware Valley's "50 Rising Stars in the Arts" by Seven Arts Magazine and has also been a Center for Emerging Visual Artists Fellow.

Tarver's work has appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, and Black and White Magazine. He is co-author of the book We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, which was accompanied by a traveling exhibition. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in over 30 solo and 50 group exhibitions and is included in many private, corporate, and museum collections, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg, the Oklahoma Museum of History, the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, and the National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution.
SUSANNA GOLD has been active as an independent curator, scholar, and educator in the Philadelphia area for over 20 years. She served on the Art History faculty at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art for nearly a decade, and has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her Ph.D. She has curated academic and community-based exhibitions for institutions such as Woodmere Art Museum, InLiquid, Drexel University’s Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, and Temple University's Tyler School of Art, and has curated several contemporary exhibitions as the Director of NoBA Artspaces in Bala Cynwyd. She continues to work with private, corporate, and institutional clients to build their collections.

Honors and awards associated with her work include several Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts/Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance project grants; a fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; a Mellon Regional Faculty Research Fellowship for the Penn Humanities Forum, University of Pennsylvania; and a Knight Arts Challenge Grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with matching grant from H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest. She has presented papers and delivered lectures at professional conferences and museums internationally, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Unique University® is the highly acclaimed education component of Unique Photo®, NJ’s only camera and video superstore. There is over 2000 sq. ft. of learning space, including our state-of-the art, 1000 sq. ft. main presentation hall. Unique University’s mission is to help our visitors “Create Better Pictures” by providing photography education for beginners to pros. With events daily, it is the place where photography groups such as local camera clubs, ASMP, PPA and others meet. We have a full curriculum of classes and seminars from world famous speakers such as Art Wolfe, Rick Sammon, Michael Yamashita, Tyler Stableford, Lindsay Adler, and Will Crockett. We offer photography experiences to such places as the Lakota Wolf Preserve, Wolf Conservation Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rutgers Football, Longwood Gardens, Festival of Ballooning, and much more. Our technical classes include such topics as basic digital photography, lighting techniques, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, macro photography, composition, editing and printing, wedding photography, HDR photography, working with speedlights, how to use social media, digital organization, one-on-one instruction, and much, much more. 


Where are classes held? 
Unless stated otherwise, most classes are held in the Unique University classroom within the Unique Photo Superstore (123 US Highway 46 West, Fairfield, NJ 07004). We also hold classes at our Philadelphia, PA location (28 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106). 

What should I bring to class? 
You're encouraged to bring your camera and a notebook and pen to most classes. Some classes will require additional equipment, so please check the class descriptions. 

Will lunch or refreshments be included? 
Lunch and refreshments are not provided for any classes under 6 hours unless noted. 

How do I register for a class? 
You can register online, in-store at the concierge, or by phone at either 973-377-6454 or 973-377-2007. Please note that you will need to provide payment information. 

Can I register at the door? 
For most classes, you're free to register at the concierge desk prior to the start of the class. Please note that there are some classes that offer "Early Bird Special" rates and others that have limited seating, so it would be in your best interest to register early for such classes. 

I wanted to register for ______ class, but it is now sold out. Is there a waiting list? 
Please contact us at 973-377-6454 or [email protected] with the following information: your name, phone number, email address, and the class name and date. 

My question has not been addressed here. Is there someone I can contact? 
Please contact us at 973-377-6454 or [email protected] with any additional inquiries.

Unique University Class Cancellation Policy
- Classes costing less than $99 may be canceled up to 48 hours in advance for a full refund. For classes costing $100 or more, advanced notice of seven days before the class is necessary for a full refund.
- Requests for cancellation made after these deadlines will be awarded store credit in the amount paid for registration towards a future Unique University seminar or workshop.
- Cancellations made within 24 hours of the beginning of a class will not be honored and no refund or credit will be given.
- Cancellations of any class utilizing models will be subject to a cancellation fee of 50% of the purchased price (up to $100).
- Cancellations of any class that includes an admission ticket (including, but not limited to: museums, gardens, shows, exhibits, and special events or locations) may be subject to forfeiture of the admission ticket fee.
** Attention American Express cardholders: If you cancel a registration for a class costing $100 or more, there will be a 3% cancellation fee deducted from your refund or store credit.

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