Thursday, September 27, 2007

Senghor Reid

The Intersection: W15 EP


An intersection is a landmark where thought and action converge, where human beings collectively determine their identity and direction in the world. At every intersection symbols of the past and present compel the direction of a community of people, shaping their immediate future as a fork in the road awaits the next step.

As the industrial age expires, Detroit finds itself lost without an identity. Massive mounds of decay, fast food chains, store front churches, check cashing offices, liquor stores, beauty suppliers and drifters abound precariously at intersections across the city. Abandoned and crumbling facades stand silently, witness to complacency, violence and neglect.

W15 examines the dichotomy of various intersections for a fifteen mile stretch along Woodward Avenue in Detroit. The film documents the businesses, services and opportunities available along an avenue that runs directly through the core of the city. Canvassing several key intersections, the photographers have captured Detroit’s deconstructing landscape in a series of images playing out as a photomontage, accompanied by narration.

Thus, a series of questions underlies the film. Where do Detroiters stand as inhabitants of a shrinking city? How can citizens make a better life for themselves, their families and their children? What can Detroit learn from urban planning of the past? Where are their intersections currently leading them as a society?

The major goal in the screening and distribution of W15 is to make it available to Detroit businesses, educational institutions, libraries, museums, governing bodies, local community-based organizations and individuals interested in the rebirth of the Detroit area.

Senghor Reid, born in Detroit, Michigan, attended Detroit Public Schools that included Golightly Educational Center and Renaissance High School. His interest and training in art developed early in life as he attended many special art programs before graduating from Cass Technical High School in 1994. As an art major at the University of Michigan, his interests in art, writing and film broadened. In 1998 he attended the New York School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture where he participated in marathon sessions in drawing and painting. Reid received a BFA from the University of Michigan in 1999 and a Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) in art education from Wayne State University in 2004. He currently teaches art at Cass Technical High School.

As a painter, Senghor Reid has developed both figurative and abstract works. His works utilize a brilliant palette and almost tactile brush strokes that punctuate political and cultural issues. Reid’s current themes for the past several years have been captured in a ‘magazine’ format juxtaposing written word, modified text, and the human figure called “The Talkies”. His series of drawings, paintings and collage works were initially based on hip hop culture, its entertainers, contributions, and subtle hypocrisies. Recently, Reid has expanded his scope to the undercurrent of politics and race strewn throughout the visual arts in America.

Reid was the recipient of the prestigious Governor’s Award for Emerging Artist in 2001. He was commissioned by the Arts League of Michigan to create five works depicting the Hip Hop Movement for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. His works have been shown in group exhibitions at the Skylight Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; Meadowbrook Gallery, Rochester, MI; the Detroit Contemporary Gallery, G.R. N’namdi Gallery, Sherry Washington Gallery, National Conference of Artists Gallery, and the Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI. He has had solo exhibitions at the JRainey Gallery and Detroit Repertory Theater Gallery. Reid’s works are in many collections including Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan and the State of Michigan Board of Education in Lansing, MI.

No comments: