Pew Center for Arts and Heritage

Get our monthly newsletter in your inbox for the latest on cultural events, ideas, conversations, and grantmaking news in Philadelphia and beyond.

Main page contents
Will Steacy and Layla Perea photographed each other in November, 2015, for the Philly Block Project. Steacy is one of the collaborating artists for the Philly Block Project and Perea is a South Kensington resident. Photo by Jordan Baumgarten/Philly Block Project, 2015.

Questions of Practice: Artist Hank Willis Thomas on Photography and Framing

Questions of Practice: Artist Hank Willis Thomas on Photography and Framing

In conjunction with the multi-phase engagement and exhibition Philly Block Project, visual artist Hank Willis Thomas talked with us about his approach to photography. “I’ve always struggled with how the truth becomes framed through a split second of time, a narrow angle of view,” Thomas says. “I’m interested in photography that keeps giving, rather than [photography that] is an endpoint.”

Visual artist Hank Willis Thomas on photography and framing. Filmed at Philadelphia Photo Arts Center on September 9, 2016.

Presented by Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Thomas’ installation, The Block, highlights present-day South Kensington, celebrates its residents, and showcases the year-long project’s work in building community ties through the arts. The exhibition is on view through November 26, 2016. Learn more on the project website.>>

Hank Willis Thomas is a visual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history, race, and popular culture. His work has been exhibited at venues such as the International Center of Photography, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, and is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and The Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Thomas received a MFA/MA in photography and visual criticism from the California College of the Arts.