Photography | Winston-Salem
Endia Beal’s work blends fine arts with social justice. As she explains, “I use photography to reveal the often-overlooked and -unappreciated experiences unique to people of color.” Through series such as Can I Touch It? and Am I What You’re Looking For?, she examines the situations and attitudes African American women encounter when they venture into corporate environments still dominated by white and male hierarchies. She composes tableaus that highlight at once the humanity and dignity of her subjects and the artificiality and aridness of the settings, challenging the viewer to acknowledge that what we accept as normal is as constructed as the stage set we’re seeing in her photographs.
Beal works in video as well because it “allows those in the photographs an opportunity to share their personal testimony.” Also a professor and a museum director, she wants neglected voices to be heard and sees art as a way to bridge seemingly unbreachable cultural chasms. These personal stories crack open the categories that envelop each of us, allowing for greater awareness and, ultimately, empathy to help transcend our differences.
Since graduating from Yale with an M.F.A. in Photography in 2013, she has won grants from the Magnum Foundation (2016) and an Open Society Foundation (2017), had solo exhibitions at PHOTOVILLE (NY) and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, and residencies at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation and the Center for Photography at Woodstock (NY). She is currently the Director of Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University and a 2018-2019 N.C. Arts Council Artist Fellowship recipient.