A museum visitor standing in profile looks at a wall with many portraits of black women on display in the exhibition Seeing/Seen. The portraits are hung on a wall that has been painted with a floral design.

Seeing/Seen, curated by Erica Vital-Lazare, 2021. Installation photograph by Josh Hawkins/UNLV Creative Services. 

Feb. 18, 2022

Please Note: Today’s event with Ruby Duncan has changed. We’ve just learned that she will be unable to attend. Seeing/Seen curator Erica Vital-Lazare will be here at 12 p.m. to hold space for storytelling and conversation.


Activist Ms. Ruby Duncan: Knocking & Walking 

Seeing/Seen  | curated by Erica Vital-Lazare
Friday, February 25, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. 
Everyone is welcome.


Prominent welfare rights leader Ruby Duncan joins us for an hour of storytelling and conversation to uplift the closing days of Seeing/Seen. Beginning with Strip-stopping protest marches, eat-ins, and the founding of the Nevada Welfare Rights Organization in the 1970s, Duncan has championed the rights of low-income Nevadans in Las Vegas and across the state. She has been named a Distinguished Nevadan, with honorary degrees from UNLV and the Community College of Southern Nevada. This event will be an opportunity to commune with one another and bring our stories as we sit at the feet of this living legend. 

A historic photo portrait of Duncan from the archives of UNLV Special Collections will be on view in Seeing/Seen until February 26th. Curated by Erica Vital-Lazare, the exhibition is centered on "the ways in which the lives of Black women can differ in kind and at the same time reflect a potency born of a shared history, majesty, and a hard-earned shaping of future selves."

The conversation with Duncan will take place at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art on Friday, February 25th, at 12:30 p.m. A closing reception for Seeing/Seen will be held the same evening from 5 - 8 p.m. Entry to both these events is free. All are welcome. 

All of the museum’s galleries are accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who cannot use stairs. Services such as sign language interpretation can be arranged. Please contact the museum by end of day on February 23rd to discuss your needs: barrick.museum@unlv.edu


Seeing/Seen is made possible by the WESTAF Regional Arts Resilience Fund, a relief grant developed in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support arts organizations in the 13-state western region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further assistance has been provided from the Psi Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, community wellness leader and Peaceful Warrior Realtor Maticia Sudah, and the UNLV Jean Nidetch Care Center.



Ruby Duncan is an activist who has championed the rights of low-income Nevadans since the 1970s. As the founder of the Nevada Welfare Rights Organization she organized protest marches that drew thousands of participants and closed down the Las Vegas Strip. From 1972 to 1990 she was the leader of Operation Life, a nonprofit organization that provided Las Vegas’ Historic Westside with its first library, daycare center, and public swimming pool. Duncan has received numerous honors, including honorary degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of Nevada, Reno. 

Erica Vital-Lazare is a professor of creative writing and Marginalized Voice in Dystopian Literature at the College of Southern Nevada. She has received grants and awards from the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, Virginia Commonwealth University's Hilliard Endownment, and the Nevada Arts Council. Her work has been featured in CatalystSojournerThrice, and Collaloo II. She is co-producer of the photo-narrative installation Obsidian & Neon: Building Black Life and Identity in Las Vegas and editor of Of the Diaspora, a series revisiting classic Black works in literature with McSweeney's Press.


The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art believes everyone deserves access to art that challenges our understanding of the present and inspires us to create a future that holds space for us all. Located on the campus of the most racially diverse university in the United States, we strive to create a nourishing environment for those who continue to be neglected by contemporary art museums, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ groups. As the only art museum in the city of Las Vegas, we commit ourselves to leveling barriers that limit access to the arts, especially for first-time visitors. To facilitate access for low-income guests we provide free entry to all our exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and community activities. Our collection of artworks offers an opportunity for researchers and scholars to develop a more extensive knowledge of contemporary art in Southern Nevada. The Barrick Museum is part of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV).


The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art is located in the heart of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus. The museum is easily accessed from the west side of campus at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and University Center Drive. Drive east on East Harmon Ave until the road enters the campus and terminates in a parking lot. The Museum will be on your right, next to a desert landscape garden. Directions here

Visitors may park in metered, staff, and student spots free of charge after 7 pm on weekdays, 1 pm on Fridays, and all day Saturday. Daily, weekly, or monthly permits can be purchased from Parking and Transportation Services. Metered parking spaces for visitors can be found in the parking lot outside the Barrick’s entrance, along East Harmon Ave, and in the lot behind the Lied Library. Other metered green zones are available in the Cottage Grove Avenue Parking Garage and parking areas throughout campus.