Sheila Pree Bright – Mugar Library Installation – Re-Birth

Installation: October 16, 2020 – December 2020

The BU Arts Initiative and Boston University Libraries are pleased to welcome artist Sheila Pree Bright to Boston University in October of 2020, with an installation of her work titled Re-Birth in the Boston University Mugar Memorial Library.

Re-Birth, timed to coincide with the 2020 presidential election, addresses themes of equity and access; particularly concepts related to the democratic process, voting rights, institutional change, racism, and equitable representation in keeping with the pedagogical mission of Boston University Libraries. This installation was conceptualized through conversations with BU community and research within the BU Libraries collections. The installation consists of oversized photographic prints of young women from Pree Bright’s 2008 series Young Americans, overlaid with video projection of text taken from archival research and Boston University student interviews.

*Please note, the installation is open to the BU Community only. Accompanying virtual programming is free & open to the public. You can also engage with virtual elements of the installation on Sheila’s website.



Sheila Pree Bright: Artist Talk
Friday October 23 at 4PM (EDT)
Pree Bright will discuss the installation Re-Birth, how it addresses topics of equity, access, and voting rights, and how her experience within the BU Library archives & in conversation with the BU community shaped the work. Moderated by BU student Claire Rich (HAA ’21), with introduction by K. Matthew Dames, University Librarian, and Ty Furman, Managing Director of the BU Arts Initiative.
Event Recording | Registration Required: RSVP

Arts and Civic Engagement: Panel Discussion
Tuesday, October 27 at 4PM (EDT)
A discussion on the role of public art in community engagement & empowerment. Sheila Pree Bright will be joined in conversation by art organizer Charlotte Maher and artist Keif Schleifer. Maher leads public art installations at Beyond Walls, a local non-profit placemaking agency based in Lynn, MA. Their current project Truth Be Told will feature the work of both Pree Bright and Schleifer. For more information about the panelists, click here.
Event Recording | Registration Required: RSVP


Sheila Pree Bright is an International acclaimed photographic artist known for her photography series #1960Now, Young Americans, Plastic Bodies, and Suburbia. She is described as a softspoken woman who images speak boldly and truthfully, which portrays a combine wide-range knowledge of contemporary culture. The images she presents and capture of culture and sometimes counter-culture challenges ideas about narratives that are controlled by Western thought and power structures. Bright’s work is in the book and exhibition Posing Beauty in African American Culture. Also, Bright’s photographs appeared in the 2014 feature-length documentary Through the Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People. She has been exhibited at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Smithsonian National Museum of African American Museum, Washington, DC; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent, England;  The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and the Leica Gallery in New York. She is the recipient of several awards including Center Prize (2006). Her work is included in numerous private and public collections, to name a few; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC, Oppenheimer Collection: Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland, KS, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta, GA, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, GA and The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Pyramid Peak Foundation, Memphis, TN and the University of Georgia, Athen, GA. Bright’s recent series, #1960Now is featured in the New York Times.