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Local Artist Showcases his Experiences Documenting the Stories of the Toledo Community in Upcoming Exhibition at TMA

Opening reception with the artist will be held on May 3

April 12, 2024

Local artist James “dirtykics” Dickerson will show the city of Toledo through a new lens in his exhibition, “In Order to Live,” on view May 1-July 14 in the Robert C. and Susan Savage Community Gallery at the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA).

“In Order to Live” features photography and installations by Dickerson who documents his journeys through the streets of Toledo and the people he meets along the way. This vivid and complex portrayal of everyday life seeks to show the unique experiences of the Toledo community and encourage viewers to check their biases about the communities that surround them.  

“Dirtykics uses a ‘listen-first, photograph second’ mentality during his documentary photography process,” said Jennifer Cantley, Community Gallery and advisory manager at TMA. “This gives the viewer a rare glimpse into the everyday lives and activities of those who spend their time in Toledo. The artist documents his time through photos and oral recounts of his experiences, which give insight into what the artist was thinking during and after taking the photograph. He finds himself documenting strangers with all different life journeys and backgrounds.”

Dickerson uses a traditional black and white film photography process to ensure his hands are part of the artmaking journey from start to finish. This exhibition highlights not only the artwork, but the photography process, the film and the cameras used. 

An artist reception that is free and open to the public will be held on Friday, May 3, from 5-7 p.m. in the Robert C. and Susan Savage Community Gallery. The reception will include remarks from the artist and refreshments.  

The Robert C. and Susan Savage Community Gallery is sponsored in part by Huntington Bank and the Toledo Museum of Art Ambassadors.


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