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Reflections by Terrence A. Reese now at Wright Museum of Art

At the Wright Museum of Art, there is currently a photography exhibit showcasing Reflections by Terrence A. Reese. Friday, February 7 was the opening reception where Reese discussed his photography and methods. Reflections will be up at the Wright Museum until April 3.   

According to Beloit College’s website, Reflections is a series of black-and-white documentary-style photographs of renowned Americans reflected in a mirror strategically placed within their personal living spaces. Their lives and careers – have shaped the political, economic and social realities of the world. 

Reese explained his work in his artist statement: “Reflections liberates the eye to move about within the boundaries of the image, not absorbing it all in a glance. The exercise reveals the unforeseen and true nature of the individual. It challenges the viewer to locate the subject’s image in the mirror that becomes an intriguing and rewarding experience, a glimpse of American history, art, culture, and society.”

The subjects of Reese’s photography are African Americans “whose lives and careers have addressed the fundamental political, economic, and social realities of the 20th century and beyond,” Reese writes in his book, Reflections. Iconic figures include Dr. Selma H. Burke, B.B. King, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, and 66 other distinguished Americans who have greatly impacted the United States.

Reese’s work was about capturing the essence of someone in a photograph. The people are situated in their own living, creative, and working spaces. In most pieces, the person in the photograph takes up a small amount of space. Instead of making them the focal point of the piece, he uses a reflection of their face in a mirror that has been placed in the environment Reese wanted to capture. 

Representing who these figures were as people and the legacy they leave behind is what was important to Reece. This is why the person in the photo takes up less space in the environment. All 69 photos are in black and white and had been taken with a film camera. Reese is currently raising money to fund his next project of creating similar images but in color. 

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