The New Gallery (Austin Peay State University) / 730 Joseph St August 28, 2023 - October 13, 2023

Tokie Rome-Taylor

"Photographer and Georgia native Tokie Rome-Taylor focuses on the notion that perception of self and belonging begins in childhood," said Michael Dickins, director of The New Gallery. “Children are the subjects she centers within her works, focusing on elevating representation omitted from mainstream ‘Western art history.’”

Dickins said Rome-Taylor's work stems from ethnographic and historical research, probing the material, spiritual and familial culture of the descendants of Southern slaves.

“[Those] serve as entry points for her to build symbolic elements in her photographs,” Dickins said. “The sitters' family heirlooms, and recollections of family history, are combined with historical research focused on the lives of Africans brought to the Americas. This combination creates a visual language that speaks to our shared history and sparks conversation around material wealth, familial and cultural traditions of African Americans in the South.”