The Art of Photography: Through the Eyes of Earl J. Hooks
Exhibit dates: June 16 – July 29, 2023
ARTfactory, 9419 Battle St, Manassas, VA 20110
Artist Reception: June 24, 6 pm – 8 pm
Artist Panel Discussion: July 15, 2 pm – 4 pm
The ARTfactory celebrates the life, and photography of nationally renowned artist, Earl J. Hooks (1927-2005). For the first time, The Art of Photography: Through the Eyes of Earl J Hooks brings together fifty photographs spanning over sixty years of the artist's oeuvre. Well known in the second half of the 20th century for his sculpture and ceramics, The Art of Photography recontextualizes Hooks' legacy through careful pairings of photographs and three dimensional works. Elevating the artist’s nuanced interest in color, shape, texture, depth, and space, The Art of Photography builds visual connections that redefine Hooks' studio practice. The ARTfactory is pleased to announce this retrospective is co-curated by Manassas resident, Earl Hooks Jr.
Earl J. Hooks’ photography is accompanied by QR codes linking his photography to rarely seen film footage by the artist. These QR codes are courtesy of the artist’s family.
The exhibition will also address the artist’s history with the local and national chapters of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The exhibition reception is sponsored by longtime supporters of the ARTfactory, the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
About the Artist
Earl J. Hooks was born August 2, 1927 in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from Howard University in 1952, and studied under Lois Malou Jones, James Porter, and James Wells. Hooks went on to complete his graduate studies in 1954 at the Rochester Institute (previously known as the School of American Craftsmen) under Frans Wildenhain. He taught at Shaw University in NC, Indiana University NW Campus, Indiana Public Schools, and at Fisk University in TN, where he worked as both a professor and chair of the art department for 28 years.
Throughout his career, Hooks has exhibited many photographs along with other mediums of art. Hooks’ works have been displayed in exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Art Institute of Chicago, Fisk University in Nashville, Howard University, John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Ind., University of Rochester in New York, Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, N.Y., Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana, Miami National in Florida, University of Delaware and in Lagos, Nigeria. Hooks is cited in over 40 publications, and participated in the pivotal “Two Centuries of Black American Art” exhibition curated by David Driskell at LACMA in 1976. This historic exhibition was recently featured in the HBO documentary “Black Art: In the Absence of Light” (2021).
History with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
The exhibition’s reception on Saturday, June 24 is sponsored by the local Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Earl J. Hooks participated in many exhibitions sponsored by local and national chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc throughout his career. Hooks’ earliest documented involvement with the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was over 50 years ago with the Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter in 1972. Earl J. Hooks was a lender and participant to the 1972 “Reflections” exhibition sponsored by the Winston-Salem Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Hooks was later commissioned by the National Delta Sigma Theta organization to create the Osceola Award in 1985. This award was presented to legendary opera star Leontyne Price at the National Delta Convention in Dallas, TX. A replica edition of the commissioned Osceola Award will be on display during Hooks’ photographic exhibition. The Artist Reception is a salute to the Delta organization, recognizing them for their unwavering support in the field of the Arts.
Artist Panel Discussion
To coincide with the Earl J. Hooks exhibition, ARTfactory is hosting an Artist Panel Discussion on Saturday, July 15, 2 pm to 4 pm. The topics of this panel discussion concentrate on Hooks as an artist, photographer, educator, and his lasting impact on the art world. Of particular interest is Hooks’ personal and professional relationships with the artists on the panel. This event includes artists William M. Duffy, Ed Hamilton, John Simmons, as well as scholars Melanee Harvey and Halima Taha. Click here for more information.