Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin'" rang true as the 1960s transformed.
This song is timeless and the lyrics resound with equal verve in 2012. It takes the collective force of individuals working in unison over time to change laws, perceptions and prejudices; and to increase understanding and tolerance.
These are the critical objectives of Barbara Proud, an award winning photographer, teacher and socio-political activist for the GLBT cause. Her work includes black and white photographs, stories, facts, and a short film that present and illuminate the lives of same-sex couples.
A Friday, June 15, ArtParty will open her exhibition at Jamestown Community College, provide an opportunity for community members to celebrate the first anniversary of New York State's Marriage Equality Act, and to present educational programs in support of the larger LGBT community that includes family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
Proud's portraits, which can be found on firstcomeslove.org, rank among the finest observed over the last 30 years while traveling to museums across the nation and to Italy and Japan. The surface qualities in her portraits compare to the nuances associated with Ansel Adam's legendary zone system landscapes; this promises to be one of the college's best black and white photography shows.
The Weeks Gallery, in collaboration with LakeArts Film Festival, will present the ArtParty to open Proud's exhibition titled "First Comes Love: Radical Spirits, Civil Rights, and the Sexual Evolution." The LakeArts Film Festival's "Politics Goes to the Movies," held on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution, continues with a series of films screenings and related programs over the weekend. Visit lakeartsfoundation.org for more information.
At 6:30 p.m., Proud will present a slide talk in JCC's Robert Lee Scharmann Theatre. Proud's vision fuses art, everyday life, interdisciplinary studies, politics and current events that are hot-topic issues. As educators, we hope to stimulate critical thinking and imagining in support of new laws and norms.
Proud's aesthetic, social-political ideals and career are classical in the Greek sense; they represent Arete, defined by the Greeks as excellence, fulfillment of purpose, and living to one's full potential.
MORE THAN ART
Weeks Gallery events offer more than chances to view contemporary art or hear artists speak.
Zili Misik, an all-female, Afro-Caribbean band, will perform at 7:15 p.m. in the Scharmann Theatre. An ArtParty reception will begin at 8:30 p.m. in the Scharmann lobby and Weeks Reception Hall.
Tickets for the ArtParty are available through JCC's FSA bookstore box office at 338-1187 or at the door. Prices are: premium theatre seating, $25; general seating, $15; and JCC FSA members general seating, $10.
Proud taught at Drexel University and currently teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she is the recipient of The President's Distinguished Teaching Award, 2012.
Prior to teaching in the United States, she worked for the Department of Defense, Wiesbaden, West Germany for eight years. She learned German and supervised the photography department of audiovisual support center for the U.S. Government in Europe. Assignments included portraiture, video, aerial, forensic photography, slide productions, and coverage of public affairs events, such as the release of hostages from the Middle East. She received awards for excellence in photographic services and for suggestions to improve photographic support to NATO communities.
Proud's "First Comes Love: Radical Spirits, Civil Rights, and the Sexual Evolution" exhibition presents images, stories, and information in support of same-sex marriage rights. Each step, each voice, each critical thought, and each change of mind and heart enlightens the American spirit.
Weeks Gallery activities will continue at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 16, with the screening of Proud's "First Comes Love" short video and Bill Moyers' video interview, "Theodore Olson and David Boies on Same-Sex Marriage" in JCC's Scharmann Theatre. The program, free and open to the public, will feature a presentation and question and answer period with panelists Barbara Proud; Melissa Goodman, a senior litigation and policy counsel at the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she conducts and coordinates litigation, policy, and advocacy work on LGBT issues; and Bob and Carole Reeder, Chautauqua residents and long-time members of Parents, Families and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG). Bob and Carole served on PFLAG's regional and national board. The panelists will be available in the Scharmann lobby after the morning program and before the 1 p.m. screening of "Milk."
Planet Earth Catering Company will serve box lunches for $10 in the Scharmann lobby from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Box lunches must be pre-ordered before 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, through the FSA bookstore box office at 338-1187.
"Milk," a biographical film by Dustin Lance Black, highlights the life and struggles of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist and politician who served as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another San Francisco supervisor, on November 27, 1978. Tickets for the "Milk" screening are $10 and are available through lakeartsfoundation.org, or JCC's bookstore box office.