POP-UP PORTRAIT STUDIO: Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange with Will Wilson

516 ARTS presented a special interactive event in the gallery with As We See It artist Will Wilson, who set up a working portrait studio using a large format camera and the historic wet plate collodion process. He invited selected indigenous artists and arts professionals, as well as the general public, to engage in the ritual interchange that is the photographic studio portrait. The particular beauty of this old photographic process references a bygone era and the historic images that continue to contribute to societies collective understanding of Native American people. Wilson wants to ensure that the subjects of these portraits are participating in the re-inscription of their customs and values in a way that will lead to a more equal distribution of power and influence in the cultural conversation. He gifted the sitter the tintype produced during the exchange.

William Wilson citizen of the Navajo Nation trans customary Dine artistWill Wilson is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation. Born in San Francisco in 1969, Wilson studied photography at The University of New Mexico (MFA, writing a dissertation on the photography of Milton S. Snow), and at Oberlin College.



As part of the All Kinds Festival, 516 ARTS hosted music and spoken word from Twin Cisterns 5-7pm.
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This event is part of PhotoSummer 2016, a collaborative initiative that strives to represent and actively promote historical and contemporary photography in New Mexico. Taking the rich legacy of photography in New Mexico as a point of departure, the exhibitions and public programs around PhotoSummer embody the continued energy and support of the photographic arts in the region. Organized by UNM Art Museum, 516 ARTS and CENTER, PhotoSummer 2016 features a series of exhibitions, talks, workshops and events in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.



Image: Will Wilson, Melissa Pochoema, citizen of the Hopi Nation, Insurgent Hopi Maiden, 2016, talking tintype.