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Deborah Luster

Photographer Deborah Luster Concludes Visiting Artists Series April 16

April 2, 2013

Photographer Deborah Luster, known for the surprisingly soulful images in two documentary series about incarcerated murderers and homicide locations, will speak at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film on Tuesday, April 16, to conclude the 2012-13 Watkins Visiting Artists Series.

After a reception beginning at 6 p.m., Luster will discuss her career and creative process at 6:30 p.m. in the Watkins Theater. The event is free and the public is invited.

Based in New Orleans and Galway, Ireland, Deborah Luster is best known for two, long-term documentary series: One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana (1998-2003 with text from poet C. D. Wright), a collection of photographic portraits of prisoners from three Louisiana prisons including the infamous Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola; and Tooth for an Eye: A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish (2008-2011), cityscapes of locations in New Orleans where homicides have been committed. Monographs from these projects were published by Twin Palms Publishing.

Luster’s awards include the Dorothea Lange—Paul Taylor Prize for Documentary Photography from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (with C.D. Wright), an Anonymous Was a Woman Award, the John Guttman Award, the Bucksbaum Family Award for American Photography, and a Peter S. Reed Foundation Award.

Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pier 24, The Smithsonian Museum, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and other notable public and private collections. She represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York. For more info: www.deborahluster.com.

“In Deborah Luster’s images, we are confronted with our society’s violent culture in ways that we would never expect,” said Robin Paris, associate professor and chair of the department of photography. “Her beautifully lit tintype portraits of inmates and striking black-and-white cityscapes are images which invite us to look across the expanse of experience and circumstance and imagine who these people are, what happened to them and their community, and what went wrong—and ultimately, to consider our systems of justice and class and racial divides.”

The Watkins Visiting Artists Series is an annual yearlong program that welcomes nationally and internationally recognized fine artists, designers, filmmakers, educators and critics to the campus and the community. Updates will be posted to Watkins.edu/VisitingArtistsSeries.

Deborah Luster’s appearance is the final offering of the 2012-13 series, following video and performance artist Liz Magic Laser, 3-D illustrator/animator Chris Sickels, and social practice pioneer Harrell Fletcher.

Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Boulevard in MetroCenter; free parking is available in the campus lot. For more information, visit Watkins.edu or call 615-383-4848.

The Watkins Visiting Artists Series is made possible through a grant from the Memorial Foundation.