Reginald Cunningham: Black Pearls
September 3, 2022- January 29, 2023
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA - The Boca Raton Museum of Art presents Reginald Cunningham: Black Pearls from September 3, 2022, until January 29, 2023. The 24 photographs featured in this exhibition tell a story about Boca Raton’s oldest neighborhood and its community today. In 1915, Pearl City, a neighborhood in Boca Raton, Florida, was developed for African American residents. The community had its own churches, business, and schools during a time when segregation was enforced. In this new show, Reginald Cunningham, a Washington D.C.-based photographer, documents the multigenerational stories of residents from Pearl City.
Through photographs, audio, and video interviews, Black Pearls explores the multilayered history of the Pearl City community. With the help of Dr. Candace Cunnigham, the pair interviewed current residents as well as the children of past residents of Pearl City. The Boca Raton Historical Society was also an important part of this exhibition as well. A resident that the Boca Raton Historical Society interviewed was quoted describing everyday life in Pearl City. Irene Demery Carswell shared, “[W]ell, we had a lot of fresh vegetables. We had lots of fish, and we had, my mother raised her own chickens…. It [Pearl City] wasn’t the city, it was out in the country. Even downtown Boca Raton, it was all woods…. Yeah, they had hogs too, my parents. They raised their own hogs and chickens and ducks, right in the backyard.” Carswell describes her experience as a child and how she saw Pearl City through her own eyes. Through this exhibition, Reginald Cunningham and Dr. Candance Cunningham combine research and documentary storytelling to explore the history of Pearl City and how it has transformed into the community it is today.
About the Artist
Reginald Cunningham is a prominent Washington, DC based photographer that works in the dynamic fields of concert, fashion, and activist photography. Cunningham only fully embraced photography as recently as 2017, but within just five years, his work graced the cover of British Vogue’s 2020 September issue. Additionally, his photographs have been featured in international publications such as "The Washington Post," "Essence," "HuffPost," "Ebony," and "Buzzfeed." Throughout his career, Cunningham has made his focus the celebration of Black talent. Between his Master of Arts in Media + Communications, his established skill in fine art photography, and his interest in promoting revolutionary images, Cunningham has established a distinguished career path; It is a rare artist whose social activism matches their artistry.
About the Museum
The Boca Raton Museum of Art encompasses a creative campus that includes the Museum in Mizner Park and the Art School. The Museum has provided seven decades of cultural and artistic service to the community and to many visitors from around the world.