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College of Arts and Humanities

"All Power: Visual Legacies of the Black Panther Party" Exhibit Opens at Sarah Spurgeon Gallery September 27

The Sarah Spurgeon Gallery will host All Power: Visual Legacies of the Black Panther Party, a photography exhibition organized by the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle. The exhibit provides a historical perspective on the Black Panther Party movement, and explores how similar social injustices are being addressed today, through photographic works by 18 contemporary black artists.

The exhibit opens Thursday, September 27, with a talk by Michelle Dunn Marsh at 4:00 p.m. in Randall Hall 117. Dunn Marsh is the curator of the exhibit and the executive director of the Photographic Center Northwest. Her lecture will be directly followed by a reception in the gallery from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The exhibition was planned for 2018 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968. As part of what eventually became an international social movement, the Seattle Chapter was one of the first chapters to form outside of California. Included in the exhibit are historical photographs by Gill Baker, Howard Cash, Lewis Watts, Robert Wade, and Deborah Willis documenting Black Panther Party leaders and protests. Also featured are graphics designed by Emory Douglas, who visually communicated the Party’s messages in posters, pamphlets, and the Black Panther newspaper.

In addition to providing a historical perspective, the exhibit includes contemporary photo-based works by black artists who continue to be informed or influenced by the Black Panther Party. Carrie Mae Weems’ fourteen-minute video People of a Darker Hue will be played continuously in the gallery. The film invites viewers to reflect upon law enforcement practices that affect people and communities of color.

The complete list of eighteen emerging and internationally known black artists, women and men spanning from twenty-two to seventy years of age, includes Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Gill Baker, Endia Beal, Sadie Barnette, Bruce Bennett, Jasmine Brown, Ouidakathryn Bryson, Howard Cash, Emory Douglas, Kris Graves, Ayana V. Jackson, Christopher Paul Jordan, Kambui Olujimi, Lewis Watts, Carrie Mae Weems, Deborah Willis, Hank Willis Thomas, and Robert Wade.

Five of the artists—Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Jasmine Brown, Ouidakathryn Bryson, Christopher Paul Jordan, and Robert Wade—live and work in Washington State.

All Power: Visual Legacies of the Black Panther Party will remain on display through October 21. The exhibition is curated by Michelle Dunn Marsh and organized by the Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle. The Sarah Spurgeon Gallery is located in Randall Hall on Dean Nicholson Boulevard and is open weekdays 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and on weekends, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Please visit our website at:

Parking in CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends, except in specially marked spaces and residence hall lots.

Media Contact: Heather Horn Johnson, Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, 509-963-2665,

Image Credits:
Ouidakathryn Bryson, Flag Baby, 2016, Pigment print, 26 in. x 35 in.
Lewis Watts, Graffiti, West Oakland, 1993/2018, Pigment print, 20 in. x 26 in.

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