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Am I What You're Looking For? | A Conversation with Endia Beal

A photographic portrait of two Black women in suits

October 13, 2021
6:00 PM

Join exhibiting artist Endia Beal for a virtual conversation about the personal and contemporary stories of women of color working within the corporate space.

Beal’s work merges fine arts with social justice. She uses photography and video to reveal the often overlooked and unappreciated experiences unique to people of color. Work from Endia Beal’s Am I What You’re Looking For? series is currently on display in the Smart Museum of Art’s group exhibition Smart to the Core: Medium / Image through December 12, 2021. One question this exhibition poses is “How is the simplest act of looking intertwined with social structures, and how do images augment the relations of power that those structures support?” Foregrounding figures who also powerfully return the viewer’s gaze, Endia Beal’s series Am I What You’re Looking For? dramatizes the constrictive and subjugating space of white-collar office environments.

FREE, open to all. Please register for the webinar link. 

This exhibition and related programs are organized by the Smart Museum’s Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry

About the artist

Headshot of Endia BealEndia Beal is a North Carolina based artist, curator, and author. As a presenter and storyteller, Beal engages and inspires the audience through her voice, humor, and unyielding desire for participants to see the humanity in one another. Beal’s work merges fine arts with social justice. She is relatable and powerful, and she captures, through the lens of art, the real-life stories of people of color. Beal uses photography and video to reveal the personal narratives of the unseen and unheard. Her signature directness and visual intelligence engages viewers in dialogue that accepts and examines the questions which surface when we push forward during times of social evolution and change. Endia Beal’s work examines the personal and contemporary stories of women of color working in the corporate space while addressing the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

Beal is featured in several online editorials including The New York Times, NBC, BET, Huffington Post, and National Geographic; she also appeared in TIME Magazine, VICE Magazine, Essence, Marie Claire, and Newsweek. Her work has been exhibited in several institutions including the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, NC; The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI; and Aperture Foundation in New York, NY. Beal’s photographs are in private and public collections, such as The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, IL; and Portland State University in Portland, OR.

She is a fellow of the Center for Curatorial Leadership and completed residencies at Harvard Art Museums, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, and McColl Center for Art + Innovation. Beal received grants from the Magnum Foundation and the Open Society Foundation, among others. Endia holds a dual BFA-AH in art history and studio art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from Yale University; she has also completed the certification from the Executive Education in Fostering Inclusion and Diversity Program at Yale School of Management.

Endia Beal, Sabrina and Katrina, 2015, 26" x 40", Archival Pigment Print, © Endia Beal, Courtesy of the artist

Endia Beal, Courtesy of the artist.