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'Underexposed' Black Female Photographers Focus Of New Wichita Exhibit

Courtesy The Kansas African American Museum
Works by Toni Parks-Parsons, the daughter of pioneering photographer Gordon Parks, will be on display.

A new exhibit featuring local and international black female photographers opens Friday night at The Kansas African American Museum in downtown Wichita.

Female African-American photographers have been largely ignored over the past century. The museum's exhibit "Underexposed" celebrates the works of six contemporary African-American photographers who approach their craft in very different ways. It also examines some of the triumphs and struggles of black women photographers since the 1900s.

Wichita photographer Pat Patterson welcomes the opportunity to showcase her images taken in Georgetown, Guyana. She agrees that black women photographers are underrepresented in the business.

"I often toy with, when I make a business card, am I gonna put my face on it? You know, what would that change if the person says, 'Well, no, I don’t really want to do a black photographer'?" Patterson says. "Because your feelings are based on what you see at first before you even make contact with me."

Works by Toni Parks-Parsons, the daughter of pioneering photographer Gordon Parks, will also be on display.


Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for News and Engagement at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.