woman smiling with her hands on her face

Leisa Smith Moseley. Political Strategist, Activist. Photo by Carl Summerlin

A young Black girl with braids looks directly at the camera while she holds onto the railing of a brownstone stair step.

Pretty Baby by Lester Sloan

Aug. 24, 2021


Curated by Erica Vital-Lazare
Exhibition Dates • Friday, September 24, 2021 - February 26, 2022
Opening Event • Friday, September 24, 2021, 5 - 8 pm
Conversation with Faylita Hicks + Erica Vital-Lazare • Friday, December 3, 2021, 7 - 8 pm
Closing Event • Friday, February 25, 2022, 5 - 8 pm
Museum Hours • Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm 
Working with a range of found images, videos, slides, archived studio and performance photos, and professional photographic portraits, the Las Vegas writer and scholar Erica Vital-Lazare invites us to share the company of Black women. Confronting and correcting both hyper- and invisibility, Seeing/Seen explores the contemporary and historical presence of Black women in their joy, leisure, work, resilience, and infinite spaces of memory and possibility.
The exhibition will include photography by veteran Black Newsweek photojournalist Lester Sloan and works by the local photographers A. Moss, Carl Summerlin, and Jeff Scheid. Las Vegas painter Q’Shaundra James will exhibit a new painting created in collaboration with Vital-Lazare’s research. Grounding her presentation against a complex and powerful palette of colors, Vital-Lazare has shaped Seeing/Seen to reflect “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 hard-earned shaping of future selves.”
Further describing the ideas behind her curation, she writes: “I am ever mindful of Paule Marshall’s evocation of ‘the kitchen mothers,’ how the stories, laughter, warnings of our foremothers and sisters as they gathered to cook, to clean, to sew, to lay out a body on its cooling board, to run a hot comb over a tender-head, straightened the hem of a skirt, took in clothes off the line, or sat down to a game of cards were baptismal rite, casual and life-determining instruction. I want this exhibit to offer such teaching and learning in a glance—in the posture of hand tucked beneath the chin, in an open laugh. I want each face, each historical moment to resound as clarion call for some and the tug of a coat-tail for others, that gentle urgency and coded message Black Women detect and share in the presence of one another provides an exhibit within an exhibit—completing the circuit between us.”
Seeing/Seen is made possible by Spiegelworld, MGM Resorts International and 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.  

The curator would like to thank writers Marita Golden, Aisha Sabitini Sloan, and Niela Orr. Photographers Lester Sloan, Jeff Scheid, Kris Lumague, A. Moss, and Carl Summerlin, as well as MGM Resorts International, Womxn of Color Arts Festival, the Nevada State Museum; Su Kim Chung, Claytee White, and Aaron Mays of UNLV Library's Special Collections, visual-creator Q'Shaundra James, and the Psi Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

About the Curator 
Erica Vital-Lazare is a professor of creative writing and Marginalized Voices 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 Endowment, and the Nevada Arts Council. Her work has been featured in CatalystSojourner, Thrice and Callaloo 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.
About the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art
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).
Visit Us
The Barrick Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Note: The Museum is closed from July 25 - September 23, 2021 for a lighting renovation. Students, employees, and members of the public, regardless of vaccine status, are required to wear a face covering while inside any building or structure on any UNLV campus or property. Face coverings must cover both the mouth and nose.
Find Us
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.