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Ming Smith, A Trailblazer in Photography and Visual Arts, Recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award

A Beacon of Black Excellence: Celebrating the Struggle and Survival of Visual Artists Through the Lens of Ming Smith's Inspiring Career…

Photography is often considered the ultimate truth-teller, capturing moments and memories that will last a lifetime. But for Ming Smith, a pioneering black female photographer, her work acknowledges not just the lives and stories of her subjects, but also her artistic vision and commitment to her craft.

A native of Washington D.C., Smith first picked up a camera as a young woman and quickly found her passion for capturing the world around her. She went on to become the first female member of Kamoinge, a collective of black photographers in New York in the 1960s. Soon after, Smith's work was included in the collections of some of the world's most prestigious museums, including the Museum of Modern Art.

Ming Smith, Untitled (Grace Jones Ballerina), 1975. .

Characterized by her black-and-white street photography, Smith's work is a celebration of the struggle, survival, and grace of black life. With a multitude of techniques & mediums, such as post-production, collage, and painting, she's been inspired by jazz and the blues, drawing comparisons between her work and the soulful expression of these musical genres. Smith has described her approach to photography as capturing a moment that would never ever return again, and doing justice to it."

Much of her work is now in the collections of several renowned institutions, including the Whitney Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, among others.

Self-Portrait, 1988, Ming Smith | Photographs by Ming Smith / Courtesy Aperture and Documentary Arts

Ming Smith's legacy is not just one of the great artistic achievements, but also a symbol of perseverance and determination. Her work inspires artists everywhere to stay true to their vision and to never give up on their dreams, no matter how elusive they may seem.

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Ming Smith, A Trailblazer in Photography and Visual Arts, Recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award

January 13, 2023

Sunshine Alaibe

2 min read

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