McKissick Museum exhibit focuses on public housing
The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum will host the exhibit, “From Snapshot to Civic Action: Creating Healthy Environments through Community Engagement,” a display of photos about life in some of Columbia’s oldest public housing communities.
“From Snapshot to Civic Action” will run from Jan. 8 -March 26 in McKissick Museum’s North Gallery. Admission is free.
The exhibit is a collaboration between McKissick Museum and Drs. Darcy Freedman and Ronald Pitner, assistant professors in USC’s College of Social Work. Freedman and Pitner recruited the residents from eight public housing communities in downtown Columbia and gave them digital cameras to document the strengths, weaknesses and concerns of their community.
“From Snapshot to Civic Action” features color and black-and-white photographs depicting daily life in public housing. Each photo includes a title and caption describing the picture, and some are accompanied by audio recordings from the residents with details about their photos.
Pitner said he and Freedman wanted to draw residents into a discussion about how to improve life for public housing residents and to give visitors a personal perspective of life in some of Columbia’s oldest public housing communities.
“Through this Photovoice process, we witnessed shy and introverted residents partnering with the more vocal residents to critically discuss their common perceptions of community strengths and concerns, as well as to identify their common vision for community change, “ he said.
Floyd Cutner, community leader and Photovoice participant, said, “Through Photovoice, we see things more clearly and can recognize – as a community – our strengths and problems. The program helps us see our community through the creative lens of a camera. A picture really is worth a thousand words.”
Freedman said the impact of the photographs and corresponding stories will be powerful.
“This project provides a voice for community members to identify opportunities for change in the community. Their work will help shape the actions taken in the study’s next stages to tackle the challenges or build on the strengths of the community.”
“From Snapshot to Civic Action: Creating Healthy Environments through Community Engagement” is free and open to the public. A reception for the artists will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18 at McKissick Museum. It is also free and open to the public.
McKissick Museum is located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe with available parking in the garage at the corner of Pendleton and Bull streets. All exhibits are free and open to the public.
Museum hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays. The museum is closed Sundays and holidays.
For more information, visit www.cas.sc.edu/MCKS/ or call Ja–Nae Epps at 803-777-2876.