Opening Night for Harlem Exhibition


Mishon & Lisa: Guest and Curator

 Images of Harlem Old and New

On Friday evening August 10, a unique photographic exhibition opened at the Rios II Gallery on Riverside Drive in Harlem.  The photographs in this exhibition celebrated the multifaceted culture of Harlem with selected works from the oeuvres of outstanding photographers who have been capturing images for years.  While there were some color photographs, the majority of the works were in black and white, a form that many photographers believe is the test of their skill and artistry.

The show was curated by Lisa DuBois, Anthony Barboza and John Pinderhughes, and featured photographers: June D. Truesdale, Lenora Brown, Kwame Braithwaite, Adger Cowens, Sonia Louise Davis, Lisa DuBois, John Penderhughes, Shawn Walker, Lewis Watts, Lee White, Burroughs Lamar, Antoine Minter, Deborah Willis, Ocean Morrisette, Andriana Lopez Sanfeliu, Jamel Shabazz and Klytus Smith.

The gallery was packed with a stylish crowd who came out to view the arresting images tastefully mounted on the walls.  There were poets and politicians, writers and musicians, dancers and dandys, folks from all walks ate, and drank and made merry as they strolled about the gallery or lounged on the spacious terrace overlooking the beautiful Hudson river with the George Washington Bridge spanning the horizon like a giant steel sculpture.

This exhibition is the brainchild of Ms. Lisa DuBois, she conceived it and made it happen.  I know where of I speak because she discussed the idea with me in the early stages of conception.  A worker bee with a Queen bee attitude she charged forth and began to put the many pieces of the puzzle together and the result was the poignant pictures of Harlem realities we were treated to last, graphic slices of life frozen in time by visual alchemists armed with Camera’s.

While Lisa was the mover and shaker that brought this historic project to fruition, she is quick to point out that in order to make it happen in such a grand way, she enlisted the critical intelligence and well tutored  taste of the great photographers  Anthony Barboza and John Pinderhuges, who became her co-Curators of the exhibit “Old Harlem/New Harlem.”  And she gave special props to Antwan Minter, her Asistant Coordinator.  “The show would not have been possible his hard work and dedication,” says Lisa.   Everyone associated with this exhibit has reason to be proud.

Lisa told me after the evening’s festivities came to a close that her one regret was that she didn’t get to personally thank everybody who helped make her dream come true personally, the way she had planned.  She especially wanted to thank the management and staff of the Rios II Gallery, and she wanted to thank Sandra Fuller, who donated and designed the floral arrangements.  The food and drinks were superb: compliments of Livians Bakery, Dougee’s Restuarant – owned by celebrated Harlem hip hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh – and the Gallery staff.

Lisa also wanted to thank the poet Lydia Elizabeth, who had written an epic poem, “Harlem Rapsody,” which she came out to debut at the opening of the exhibit.  But most of all, she wanted to thank all who came out to celebrate the opening of the exhibit; beautiful and interesting people.  Hence, at the end of the evening, it is fair to sum things up thusly: “All’s well that ends well.”  The exhibit will be mounted until August 31, if you enjoy great photography, or is intrested in Harlem life and culture: See this exhibit!!!!

“Da Mayor” and the Poet

Leslie Witche and Lydia Elizabeth
The Priemier Historian of Harlem’s Art and Architecture

Michael Adams Perused the exhibit….and said he liked it
Poet Don Raphel was there

And he sang for us
The pianist Accompanied Don

And Serenaded us all Evening
Ernest Gregory Was there

Wynton Marsalis’ on the road photographer
Gregory had his Camera and Preserved this Moment

Iconic Photographer Kwame Brathwaite, A. D. Minter, Lydia Elizabeth, Playthell

The World Renowned Harlem Artists Ademola was in da House!

Strolling with his entourage dressed in casual white

Tajjidin Aleem Was There Splendidly Locked
A Globetrotting Cultural Connoisseur

His poignant pictures capture priceless moments

In the life of Harlem
The Curators

Tony Barboza and Lisa DuBois

It Was a Stylish Crowd

A Black and Tan Fantasy

There Were Free Thinkers like Poet Michaelangelo

With an eclectic approach to fashion

There was Old School Cool

Grand Master Kham and his Lady Representin!

And the Casual Cool of Youth

Makeda Voletta and Odugu

As Night began to fall

TheParty Moved out to the Terrace

Where we were Serenaded by Bruce Edwards, a fine Guitarist

He Entertained us with Timeless Standards

It was a Wonderful Night….

……For a Moon Dance


Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 11, 2014

All Photographs by: Playthell Benjamin

** Except those in which he appears.

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