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Photo exhibition explores Muslim experience in America

Photo exhibition explores Muslim experience in America

For Immediate Release
Aug. 18, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The photography exhibition “Muslim American/American Muslim” by New York City-based photographer Robert Gerhardt opens on Friday, Sept. 1, from 6-8 p.m. at the Durbin Gallery on the campus of Birmingham-Southern College. The show will remain in the gallery until Sept. 28.

Photograph by Gerhardt

Gephardt will deliver an artist talk on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 11 a.m. in the Norton Campus Center Theatre. The talk and exhibition are open to the public and free of charge.

His black-and-white photography exhibition, which seeks to advance religious and cultural understanding, shows Muslim-Americans in their daily lives.

“My goal for this project is to try to understand and document the intersection between ‘Muslim’ and ‘American,’ since the latter part of this community’s identity is often forgotten,” the artist said. “I began photographing for this project on the first night of Ramadan in 2010, and I continue to make photographs through the present day. My hope is that this photo series can encourage a dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims in America that attempts to erase the boundaries that engender a sense of ‘them’ and begin to foster a sense of ‘us.’”

Gerhardt, who was born in Georgia and grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, gravitated toward photography while studying at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Mass. After receiving his bachelor’s in anthropology/sociology, he earned an MFA in photography from the Lesley University College of Art and Design in Boston.

“Muslim American/American Muslim” has been exhibited at colleges throughout the U.S. Gerhardt’s works have also been in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and Europe, and his photography is in a number of private collections. He has lived and worked in New York since 1999.

BSC’s gallery is located inside the Doris Wainwright Kennedy Art Center/Azar Art Studios. During the exhibition, it will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.