Common Ground, a public art project by John H. Stone and Lonnie Graham, located at Project H.O.M.E’s St. Elizabeth’s Community Center, 1845 N. 23rd St., Philadelphia, PA, sponsored by the Fairmount Park Art Association
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Aiken Rhett
Aunt Dora
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Jordan
Adia
Kaia
Turkana Woman
Victor Manuel
Ancestral Correspondence | installation
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Member Portfolio

Lonnie Graham

Philadelphia, PA

Résumé

Artist Statement

The definition of Art and Culture remain illusive. We feel compelled to manufacture meaning and weight for the esoteric efforts of the lone practitioner. The distance between the arts and society has grown so great that art makers have become agents for an exclusive self-defined reality. The burden of that distance has proven so disorienting that we accept the craftsmen's practice as a representative portrait of our collective selves.
A truer description of ourselves and our culture lies in the way in which we address our intrinsic needs, food, shelter, and clothing; and with the respect we render our minds, our bodies, and our spirits. This is evident in other original cultures, and even our own pre-technological society.
As artists it is our duty to embrace the culture and honor ourselves and our ancestors. We cannot speak wisely of what we do not know. As a society we must embrace the dreamers and visionaries as we collaborate our future.
When artists begin to address our essential needs, we open a dialogue with our fellow human beings. Our role as the distant prophet, lone maverick, or clairvoyant shaman, dissolves in the tangible context of real life.
Ego is the most profound hallucinogen.
As artists we must not limit ourselves to the boundaries of our own imaginations.
As our work centers on the needs of our community it becomes validated by that community and ceases its singular exploration.
It sparks a fire in a thousand minds. As we work shoulder to shoulder with our community we fan the flames of enlightenment that burn away fear and prejudice and ignorance, so that we all might stand together in the brilliant light of human understanding.

Artist Biography

Lonnie Graham is a Pew Fellow and Professor at Pennsylvania State University. He is former director of Photography at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, an urban arts organization dedicated to arts and education for at risk youth. There, Graham developed innovative pilot projects merging Arts and Academics, which were ultimately cited by, then, First Lady Hillary Clinton as a National Model for Arts Education.
In 1996 Graham was commissioned to create the “African/American Garden Project,” which provided a physical and cultural exchange of disadvantaged urban single mothers in Pittsburgh, and farmers from Muguga, a small farming village in Kenya, to build a series of urban subsistence gardens.
In 2005, Professor Graham was cited as Artist of the Year in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and presented the Governor’s Award by Governor Edward Rendell. Professor Graham served as a panel member for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Lonnie Graham is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts/Pew Charitable Trust Travel Grant for travel to Ghana and is a four time Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship recipient.
His book“A Conversation with the World,” has been published by Datz press in Seoul, Korea.That project seeks to reveal our common humanity through interviews conducted by Professor Graham with individuals through out the world.
Other exhibitions include an exhibition of photographs at Goethe Institute, Accra Ghana; an exhibition of collaborative portraiture in Christchurch, New Zealand, a group of works at Kulttuurivoimala, Culture Silo, Meri-Toppila, Oulu, Finland, a full scale reproduction of one of the educational galleries in the Barnes Foundation shown at La Maison de Etat-Unis, Paris, France, an exhibition of larger than life photographs at the Toyota City Museum in Aichi, Japan as well as a room sized installation featured at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Graham’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Addison Gallery for American Art in Andover, MA and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in Philadelphia, PA.

Education

1984
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Master of Fine Arts
1978
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Bachelor of Fine Arts
1977
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
1976
Ivy School of Professional Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Associate in Specialized Technology

Awards & Honors

2019
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Art, Eatonville, FL
Designer, Zora! Festival, 30th Anniversary Catalogue
2018
For Freedoms Collaboration with Hank Willis, Richmond, Virginia, San Francisco, CA
Document political and social activist billboards in specified locations
School of Visual Art, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Individual Faculty Research grant entitled the Evolution of Obscurity as a document of Turkana tribe
2017
Datz Museum, Seoul, Korea
Residency for installation of exhibition and publication of book
2015 - 2017
Scribe, Philadelphia, PA
Great Migration; Grant to trace the cultural impact of migration of people
2013
School of Visual Art, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Individual Faculty Research Grant
2012
America Scandinavia Foundation Fellowship, America-Scandinavia Foundation, NY
Awarded for visual investigation xenophobia in Oulu, and Sami migration into urban Oulu, Finland
2009 - 2010
National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, D.C.
Artistic Excellence, Six Big Diamonds Project, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA
2009
Institute for Arts and Humanities, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Individual Faculty Research Grant
2008
School of Visual Art, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Individual Faculty Research Grant
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Harrisburg, PA
Visual Arts Fellowship
Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Baltimore, MD
Artist as Catalyst Award
2005
Artist of the Year, The Hazlett Memorial Award
Governor’s Award for the Arts in Pennsylvania
Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Baltimore, MD
Artist as Catalyst Award
2004
School of Visual Art, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Individual Faculty Research Grant
2003
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Harrisburg, PA
Visual Arts Fellowship
2002
Pew Charitable Trust, Philadelphia, PA
Pew Fellowship
2001
Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Baltimore, MD
Artist as Catalyst Award
1999
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh, PA
Emerging Artist Grant, Artist of the Year
Light Work, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Artist Residency
1998 - 2009
Fairmont Park Art Association, Philadelphia, PA
Commission, New Land Marks Public Art Program
1997 - 1998
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Collingwood Bay Project, Collingwood Bay, Papua New Guinea
Commission to document Woowoosi harvest, tree used to produce Tapa, ceremonial dress and traditional currency of the Maisen tribe
1996 - 1999
Points of Entry, Three Rivers Arts Festival Pittsburgh PA
Commission of African American Garden Project and installation Living in a Spirit House
Supports subsistence gardens and exchange between Muguga, Kenya and Pittsburgh, PA
1994
National Endowment for the Arts and the Pew Charitable Trusts
Arts International Travel Grant
Cash endowment for a residency in Ghana
1992
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Artist Residency
Producing installation
1991
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Harrisburg, PA
Visual Arts Fellowship

Bibliography

2019
"Ancestral Correspondence: Looking back at Our Future", Great Migration PHL, in collaboration with Scribe Video
Razafimandimbimanana, Elatiana, "Langues & Photographie," interview with the Artist, Université de la Nouvelle Calédonie
1994
"Imagining Families," Smithsonian Institution Exhibition Catalog, pg. 9, 30-32
1993
"Identity Approached with a Cutting Edge and a Kindly Nostalgia," Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, pg. 19, July 2, 1993

Collection

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
American University, Washington, D.C.
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Datz Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Schomburg Center, New York, NY
Stanford University Library, Special Collections, Palo Alto, CA
Price Waterhouse, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Delaware Museum of Art, Wilmington, DE

Professional Experience

2003 - Present
Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Professor of Visual Arts and Photography
2007 - 2017
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Art, Eatonville, FL
Resident Curator
2007 - 2009
Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Acting Associate Director
2002 - 2007
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Visiting Instructor of Graduate Studies
2002 - 2007
Barnes Foundation, Marion, PA
Instructor of Special Programs/Oral Historian
1998 - 2001
Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
Curator in Residence/Juror
1998 - 2001
Haverford College, Haverford, PA
Visiting Professor of Fine Arts and General Programs
1990 - 1997
Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Pittsburgh, PA
Director of Photography, After School Program

Lectures & Workshops
2019
BKC Brooklyn Central, Brooklyn, NY
Photo Cafe, Talks on Photography, discussion on analogue photography
Sustainability Institute, HUB Flex Theatre, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Lecture advancing collaborative issues of sustainability in the arts and sciences
2018
African American Museum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Tone Poems, Great Migration
Sponsored by Scribe Video, panel moderated by Louis Messiah
2017
Muhu Muuseum, Muhu, Estonia
Meie Tuleviku Minevik, Our Future Past, Our Future Past
Gallery talk, interpreted into Estonian
Datz Museum, Seoul, Korea
Resonant Voices
Exhibition gallery talk and community round table
Datz Press, Seoul, Korea
Public presentation and lecture, Art and Social Activism
2016
Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME
Public lecture for Acadia Summer Art Program, retained in A.S.A.P. archive
2015
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Art and Social Activism, Polyphony
Polyphony Lecture and public forum with Maori of Christchurch
Culture Silo, Meri-Toppila, Oulu, Finland
Kulttuurivoimala
Lecture and gallery talk concurrent with celebration of the Migrating Fish Goddess
2014
Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY
Social Practice: The Art of Collaboration
Lecture, public forum entitled, Social Practice: The Art of Collaboration
2011
Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA
6 Big Diamonds
Public workshop using natural dying techniques, with Kenyan artist Lucy Lau
University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Conversation with the World: Calgary
Lecture on Art and Social Activism relating to project done in collaboration with indigenous Blackfoot and Blood community
2010
Fairmount Park Art Association, and Project H.O.M.E., Philadelphia, PA
Church Lot and Common Room
Opening remarks at Fairmount Park Art Association commemorating construction of neighborhood meditation area and renovation of community workspace
2008
National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
A Conversation with the World
Photo Alliance, San Francisco, CA
Keynote presenter for annual event. Portfolio reviewer for members
Americans for the Arts Conference, Philadelphia, PA
Panelist and presenter, Public View of the Public Artist
2007
Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Taboo to Icon: The Black Body in Modern and Contemporary Art
2006
Nagoya City University, Nagoya Japan
Lecture to Graduate School of Architecture and Design
LightWork, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
The Artists Commitment to Community
August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Pittsburgh, PA
Led discussions on perceptions of art in African American community
Miami Art Museum, Art Basil, Miami, FL
Introduction for featured lecturer, Carrie Weems
2005
New York University in Accra, Ghana
Framing the Triangle, presented and led discussions on African influence
Barnes Foundation, Marion, PA
Patterns of Visual Perception
2004
Noyes Museum of Art, Galloway Township, NJ
Bringing into Focus African American Photography
John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA
Artist as Cultural Activist
The Rockefeller Foundation’s PACT Program, Asheville, NC
Art in the Public Interest
Community Arts Network project

Panelist
Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, MN
Presentation on Art and Social Responsibility
Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Baltimore, MD
Community Arts Institute
Featured Speaker-Homes and Gardens presentation of community-based art and social activism
Creative Capital Foundation, Baltimore, MD
Professional Development Workshop sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation
College Art Association, Seattle, WA
The Activist Artist: Community-Based Art Practice, Lonnie Graham, Artist as Cultural Activist
92nd Annual Conference, Panelist
2003
Oxbow School, Napa, CA
Week long workshop in traditional photographic techniques
Copia Center for Food, Napa, CA
Food as Power
2001
Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
Without Sanctuary
Panel discussion
1999
Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Workshops on Foundations of Photographic Art
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Defining Social Activism through the Arts
Fairmont Park Art Association, Philadelphia, PA
New LandMarks Symposium
Haverford College, Haverford, PA
The Role of Photography and Memory
Lecture and panel
1998
Airara, Papua New Guinea
The Camera Obscura, a life size demonstration
1997
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Revealed
1996
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY
Art of the Matter
Dialogue sponsored by Deiu Donne paper mill
1994
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Imagining Families
Heinz Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA
Recontexturlisation
1992
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Artist lecture and introduction to installation

Exhibitions

Solo
2019
Solo Installation Photo Mural, St. Andrew's Community Cafe, State College, PA
Conversation with the World, Firehouse Gallery, Camden, NJ
2017
Meie Tuleviku Minevik, Our Future Past, Our Future Past, Muhu Muuseum, Muhu, Estonia
2006
Lonnie Graham: A Conversation with the World, John F. Kennedy University, Berkeley, CA

Two-Person
2017
Resonant Voices, Datz Museum, Seoul, Korea
With Jane Baldwin

Group
2019
Portfolio Gallery, St. Louis, MO
Portfolio Gallery, Maryville University, St. Louis, MO
Into the World, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2018
The Great Migration, Slought Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Scribe Video
tender voices like poems, The African American Museum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Scribe Video
number 45, Artists Respond to the Political Landscape, Iona College Gallery, Iona College, NY
Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA
2009 - 2017
Works of Art on Paper, Toyota Museum, Toyota City, Japan
2016
Acadia Summer Art Program, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME
2015
Artbox, Polyphony, New Zealand
With Maori of Christchurch
Kulttuurivoimala, Culture Silo, Meri-Toppila, Oulu, Finland
Acadia Summer Art Program, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, ME
2014
Social Practice: The Art of Collaboration, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY
2013
green Acres, Contemporary Art Center of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
2012
Conversation with the World, Tony Raka Gallery, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
2010 - 2011
Conversation with the World: Calgary, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2006
Engulfed by Katrina, Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, NY
Silent Voices, Loud Echoes, African American Museum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
2005
Framing the Diaspora, Goethe Institute, Accra, Ghana
In Focus: 75 Years of Collecting American Photography, Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
Saturday Night Sunday Morning, The African American Museum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Inaugural Exhibition
Curator: Deborah Willis
Art of the State, State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
2004
A Conversation with the World, Light Work, Syracuse, NY
In Our Own Backyard, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA
Fellowship Award Winners 2002/2003
Reflections in Black: Smithsonian African American Photography, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
2001
100 African American Photographers, 1949 - 1999, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
2000
Reflections in Black: History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
Biennial 2000, African Museum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
1997 - 1998
Wade in the Water, Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibition Service and National Museum of American History
Pittsburgh Revealed, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
1996
San Francisco Art Institute: Fifty Years of Photography, Transamerica Pyramid, San Francisco, CA
Celebrating Faculty and Alumni
1994
Arts on 30, Heinz Foundation invitational, Pittsburgh, PA
Inconspicuous Absence, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
Installation of recontexturlized photographs
Exhibition of DuPont Fellowship Nominees

Other, Special Projects
2018
For Freedoms, Borland Project Space, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Collaboration with Hank Willis to conduct workshops raising social awareness around political issues. Print large-format mural sized photographic reproductions of billboards appearing in the 50 United States representing the “For Freedoms: The 50 State Initiative”project. Print and distribute lawn signs across southeastern PA
Ancestral Correspondence, Wissahickon Boys and Girls Club, Philadelphia, PA
Installation of floor-to-ceiling mural sized photographs of participants from a six-week workshop conducted with Wissahickon youth and elder Boys and Girls Club members
Get Exposed event, Black Sun Studio, State College, PA
Installation consisting of a large full sized American flag painted white and torn asunder revealing a grid of photographs of blacks, women, and Native American portraits.
2011
6 Big Diamonds, Abington Art Center, Jenkintown, PA
Installation linking indigent farmers in Wote, Kenya and Abington PA, funded by NEA
2010 - 2011
In My Father’s House, August Wilson Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Inaugural installation room replete with artifacts depicting the life of an Afro-American family
2010
Fairmount Park Art Association, and Project H.O.M.E., Philadelphia, PA
Church Lot and Common Room
New construction of neighborhood meditation area and renovation of community workspace
2009
A Change in the Making, Monkey Biz, Cape Town South Africa, CosaCosa, Philadelphia, PA
Photo-documentary exploring how societal change can be secured using the arts a vehicle. Co-Funded by Mid-Atlantic Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Penn State University
2007 - 2009
A Conversation with the World: San Francisco, San Francisco Art Commission, San Francisco Art Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
A series of 9 portraits, larger than life photographs installed at city hall. Public art portion consisted of one dozen, four by twelve feet tall posters installed in columns in specified sites around downtown San Francisco.
2008
A Conversation with the World: Eatonville, Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts, Eatonville, FL
A Conversation with the World: Eatonville, Exhibition of photographs with text from socio- anthropological exploration. 20 archival inkjet prints with text panels featuring interviews with the residents of Eatonville, Florida
2006
A Conversation at the Table, Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Installation as nexus for Philadelphia arts organizations to address essential human issues
2005 - 2006
Down the Garden Path; Twin Gardens of the Americas, Queens Museum, Corona Park, Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY
Photographic installation; exterior community garden installation
2004
Commissioned Photographer: “Dr. Albert Barns, Man Behind the Foundation Exhibition of Photographs and Artifacts from the Barnes Foundation"
La Maison de Etat-Unis, Paris, France
Project Rowhouses, Houston, TX
A Social Study; sponsored tie-dye workshop for single moms with east African artist Lucy Lau
2002
Memorialization, Acknowledgement, Enlightenment
Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC, Installation on three sites acknowledging African Americans
2001
Without Sanctuary Media Installation, Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
2000
Living in a Spirit House, the Artists studio: Foundation for the Future, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Artist uses honorarium to establish a scholarship fund
1998
In Context, Living in a Spirit House, the Artists studio: A Home and the Homeless, Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Artists stipend the artist feeds and clothes the homeless
1996
Art of the Matter: Living in a Spirit House, Conversations at my Fathers Table, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY
Installation sponsored by Dieu Donne, New York, NY
Points of Entry, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
Commission for public art and installation of triptych Living in a Spirit House and The African American Garden Project with Fugitive Traces, high impact outdoor installations using billboards
1995
Collaboration At It's Best: Living in a Spirit House, Conversations at My Father's Table, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Artifacts, handmade paper, limited edition photogravure book
1994 - 1995
Living in a Spirit House, Aunt Dora's Room, National African American Museum Project, "Imagining Families", Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Installation with artifacts
1993
Living in a Spirit House, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Installation of two tableaux with artifacts, hand screened wallpaper, yardage and silks
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