The Space

Black Image Center

Tique asks five questions to art spaces, galleries, residencies or any other imaginable type of art organization that exhibits, promotes or facilitates art about their practice, vision and activities. This week: Black Image Center.

The Host Black Image Center
Location Los Angeles, USA

What is the history of the organization, and with what motivation did you start?

Black Image Center was founded in 2020 by a group of young, Black photographers and producers here in LA in wake of the discourse around police brutality and racial inequity. Most of us didn’t know each other before we came together on Instagram in 2020 around the idea that Black photographers and storytellers in LA needed an intentional space of our own to meet each other and learn from each other. We were all motivated by our own personal experiences of racial inequity working in commercial, fashion, art, and photojournalism and we each wanted to do something about it. Now after over three years since we originally came together, Black Image Center is a community space where Black photographers can spend time together, learning from and alongside each other, and where the wider community can come to support Black artists and storytellers.


How do you define and develop your artistic program?

Most of what we do is created in response to what we wish we had access to as young creatives ourselves in combination with what people in our community request that we host. Folks often ask us to host certain events or offer to teach classes that they have been wanting to offer.

Can you describe your relationship with your artists?

We are a community space so most of our relationships with people are through word of mouth, our personal networks, and by connecting with people who reach out to us!

How do you get in touch, how do you work with them?

We work with artists in a variety of ways- as participants or teaching artists in our programs, as presenters for film screenings or artist talks, and as collaborators on offerings like our portrait sessions.

How do you set up and design exhibitions in the space?

We aren’t a gallery, so we don’t have a huge hand in the exhibition world. The majority of our work is programming that is aimed to uplift Black storytellers through opportunities for growth or learning. We give away free film, host artist residencies, portfolio reviews, critique groups, professional development and technical workshops, portrait sessions, family photo archiving, film screenings, jazz nights and artist talks.

What advice would you give (emerging) artists?

Find places in your community like Black Image Center and if you can’t find anything, make something!

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