By Aissatou Sidime-Blanton
Kimberly Hopkins’s striking black and white photos, now on display at the AP Art Lab, are a wonderful homage to famous African-American photographers. Her first solo exhibition, “Street Formation,” will close with a reception from 6-8 pm on Sept. 27 at the gallery, located at 1906 S. Flores Street in San Antonio.
In fact, Hopkins readily admits her photos are inspired by the works of Brooklyn street photographer Andre D. Wagner and the late iconic photographic documentarian Gordon Parks.
Hopkins solo exhibition is a collection of live action-based photos of all the street musicians she has photographed during the last five years. Her subjects were captured in New Orleans, Minden, Tennessee, Austin, San Antonio and Chicago. The show title is a musical reference but also fits perfectly with AP Art Lab’s mission to exhibit artwork focused on women’s issues and social change.
“Musicians often have a role in social change. If you think of Otis Redding, The Temptations and others they were instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement – they set the foundation for musicians across the world,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins, who is not a musician but always wanted to play piano, hopes viewers are inspired to see the value of anyone who takes the time to make music. “There is talent all around us.”
Hopkins, a native Houstonian, has lived in San Antonio since 2011. She received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Prairie View A&M University and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from University of Texas San Antonio.
Her passion for photography ignited when she picked up her first digital camera in architecture school. City streets, people and public transportation quickly became her visual language.
Today, the self-taught photographer also is a city planner for the City of San Antonio. Her photos reflect a cross-pollination between her “day job” and avocation because the photos also are informed by her interest in how everyday people use public spaces.
Aissatou Sidime-Blanton is a San Antonio-based curator and art collector. With her husband, Stewart Blanton, she underwrites the Abaraka Award, a biennial grant for African American women who teach, curate or create visual art. Learn more at SidimeBlantonFund.org.
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The earthly curtain has closed for the last time for the multi-talented, actress, singer, model, activist, Tony-winning-, Oscar nominated, and first Black woman to star in her own TV series; Diahann Carroll, died today at her Los Angeles home at age 84. Reports note that she had battled with cancer for some time now.
Born Carol Diahann Johnson, she went by Diahann Carroll. Known for her beauty and poise, Carroll broke race barriers when she stared in the TV series Julia in 1968. Her role was iconic because it was the first time a black woman didn’t play the role of a servant. She was also well recognized for her role in the film Claudine and for playing the character Dominique Deveraux, a mixed-race diva in the soap opera Dynasty.
RIP Diahann Carroll.