Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Toledo Through the Lens of James “dirtykics” Dickerson

The Toledo Museum of Art presents Toledo local artist, James “dirtykics” Dickerson’s In Order to Live project in the Robert C. & Savage Community Gallery May 1 through July 14.

Explore Toledo through the lens of James “dirtykics” Dickerson at the special gallery.

Dickerson is a street photographer here in the Glass City. His work focuses on African Americans living in the Central City of Toledo.

“This unique and intimate portrayal of life in Toledo beckons viewers to take a closer look at people’s lives through spontaneous encounters and film photography. Each image tells a story of the dynamic stories of the people of Toledo and the unique journeys that life leads them through,” Toledo Museum of Art wrote on the website.


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He first started photographing Central City Toledo in 2016. Capturing moments spontaneously, he adopted a “listen first, photograph second” mentality. He hopes that when “privileged eyes” view his photographs it inspires them to recess their preconceived ideas on their surrounding communities. 

“To me, a photograph is a sibling of time and is meant to preserve the grains of our history. With a camera in my hands, I hold life through a lens as a documentary photographer. A photograph can change everything you understand about yourself. Be it an image of family from the 1980s or an image of a departed stranger requested by their family for sentimental value, these moments influence my next frame. Fueled by a mix of duty and obsession, my work is made of the essence of our communities,” Dickerson wrote in an artist statement.

Join Toledo Museum of Art and Dickerson for an Artist Reception and celebration of Friday, May 3 at 5 pm in the Robert C. & Susan Savage Community Gallery. No registration is required for the event. 

For more information, visit toledomuseum.org/exhibitions/dirtykics-in-order-to-live.

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