John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art 2019, Artists and American Communities, Now: Part 7, Devin Allen
Devin Allen, artist and 2017 fellow, The Gordon Parks Foundation. In April 2015, widespread protests in Baltimore, Maryland—locally termed the Baltimore Uprising—erupted after an African American man named Freddie Gray died from injuries he suffered while in police custody. Photographer Devin Allen, a native of Baltimore, immersed himself in the protests and made images of both civil unrest and community solidarity in his home city. The events in Baltimore corresponded to a larger national frustration around civilians being killed by police; soon, a mere two years after taking to photography, Allen became the third amateur photographer ever to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. At the John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art, “American Communities, Then and Now” held on February 8, 2019, Allen, a 2018 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellow, discussed the ethics of photographing his community and the influence of Parks’s work on his own.