Picture this 

click to enlarge Tony Gleaton's "In My Grandmother's House"
  • Tony Gleaton's "In My Grandmother's House"

Photographer Tony Gleaton asks questions, but does not expect viewers of his work to have the answers. What he hopes is that his photographs of Latin Americans descended from African slaves will challenge the stereotypes we hold.

Africa's Legacy in Mexico, a collection of 22 black-and-white photographs, will be on exhibit at the East Library until July 31. The works document some of the people Gleaton met while traveling in Latin America over a 15-year period in search of a little-known part of the African diaspora. They raise important questions about race and identity.

Gleaton explores his own cultural identity in his work. A 55-year-old African-American with green eyes and blondish gray hair, he has embarked on the archetypal American quest to understand and explore his sense of self, while paying homage to a largely unrecognized culture.

The images are haunting. The "models" sit within their environments, but as Gleaton explains, there is very little that is "natural" about his work. The artist is always present and there is no claim that these works are documentary.

As you walk through the gallery, Gleaton's works appear to watch you. "Sin titulo, Untitled" is a picture of a young boy leaning toward the camera and seemingly out toward the viewer. He studies the photographer, the viewer; and in his pupils, you can see the photographer silhouetted.

The library will hold a reception for the artist on Wednesday, July 28.

capsule Africa's Legacy in Mexico

East Library, 5550 North Union Blvd. until Saturday, July 31

Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday through Saturday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.

Admission free.

A reception for Tony Gleaton will take place on the Wednesday, July 28, at 7 p.m. Open to the public.

For more information,

call 531-6333 ext. 1202.

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