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Ian Solomon, dozens more to be featured in 2021 Gilda Snowden Memorial Exhibition

By Marisa Kalil-Barrino

From March 24 to May 8, Detroit photographer and creative director Ian Solomon will be featured in Scarab Club’s Gilda Snowden Memorial Exhibition.

The Scarab Club stated the purpose of this exhibition is to “is to recognize the diversity and achievement of artists whose work shows creativity of concept, excellence of design and expertise of media; to display these works to regional audiences and to be an educational opportunity for students.”

While he practices all types of photography, Solomon said his main focus is portraiture.

“My motivation is to liberate and elevate the Black community,” Solomon said. “Through my political-journalism past, it was examining and outlining the structures of oppression that affect Black folk globally. Through photography it expressed loudly my gratitude, love, and admiration for our resilience, creativity, and collective healing in spite of those oppressive structures.”

Solomon said he believed Detroit is a microcosm of the Black-American cultural juxtaposition.

“Photography means the world to me,” Solomon said. “I’ve always known that whatever path I take would have an intense focus on community. While journalism was incredibly interesting, I yearned for a freer medium to convey the messages I needed to. Photography provided that, and so much more.”

Solomon said he finds great inspiration through Detroit talents and personalities. His “Ghetto Genesis” portrait of Detroit musician Milfie from his BYOB Photo Series was featured in Vogue Italia.

“Influenced by portrait photographers of the Harlem renaissance such as Carl Van Vechten and James Van Der Zee, my practice in essence is an archive of my community to be further amplified,” he said. “The Detroit community’s raw creativity is what led me to be an artist today, I only hope to redirect the energy given to me and place Detroit’s own renaissance on a pedestal deserved.”

Solomon said he is also a huge outdoor recreationalist.

“The bright colors, natural textures and patterns of nature inform the style of my images,” Solomon said. “I’d like the vibrancy and patterns of my work to reflect the community I photograph; full of life, infinitely creative and deeply connected.”

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