Joshua Rashaad McFadden in conversation


August 11, 2016

Woodruff Arts Center
Atlanta, GA

Sponsored by:
C4 Atlanta
Alliance Theatre


More about McFadden



JRM in conversation was JTR Presents' first production since its inception. It produced a live artist talk with social justice and civil rights activist, Joshua Rashaad McFadden, and the audience on the topic of the Black identity in American culture. This topic was discussed in three segments, which his body of work addressed:

Colourism and its role in the, already arbitrary, aspects of beauty. Many women of color face discrimination regarding if they are beautiful or not based on the hue of their skin and the texture of their hair, in addition to other attributes of beauty women struggle with in general. This conversation was expressed through McFadden's work, "Colourism".

The progression of activism and its impact since the black civil rights movement in the 60's was the focus of McFadden's second body of work, "Selma". Which reflected on how activism has affected African Americans over the past 50 years and builds a comparison between the Selma March in the 60's and the "Black Lives Matter" movement. McFadden also includes shots from the 50th anniversary March of Selma into this collection of work.

McFadden's third, and more recent, body of work is focused on the black male identity. McFadden had photographed men of color under 40 years old and asked them a series of questions regarding who was their father, male role-model, or "father figure" and build a collection of portraits with intimate bonds between the subject and his father or role-model. This is in relation to addressing how black males are portrayed in American culture and imagery and the strong contrast to the reality of the topic.

This was facilitated with Michael D. Winn, local playwright and Community Engagement Manager at Alliance Theatre.




It all started when…

The principle of A.C.E Academy had contacted us for a creative project for the school. The principle, Laila Minott, wanted to re-purpose a fraction of the school's abandoned parking lot and proposed turning it into a black-top playground for students that also enhances their education. After an initial meeting, we began planning designs to implement. Through the summer of 2017, our intern and founder created and produced design elements for students and teachers to interact and engage.

Guide to the PlayPad can be found here.


3D Map


September 4-17, 2017
Artist Talk
September 9, 2017

The Carrack Modern Art
Durham, NC

Sponsored by:
The Carrack
Fractured Atlas

Aliana Grace Bailey

Bailey's work overall speaks upon the themes of role-models and empowerment. Much of her work gives honor back to the people in her life who have encouraged her. Her work is also focused on healing and therapy. The collectives "between our legs" is a personal expression of Bailey in her "coming of age" in a relationship and an investigation of the idea of associating virginity with virtue.

Joshua Rashaad McFadden

McFadden brings to the table a conversation regarding the black male identity. His portraits of black male subjects are accompanied with intimate writings of the subjects father, or father figure, reflecting on their influence and how that played a role to the individuals view towards "the ideal black man". The work is a sharp contrast to the stereotypes of men of color as portrayed in media and culture. 

Shoccarra Marcus

Marcus introduces the identity of adulthood in a changing family dynamic. Her work illustrates her dealing with the tension of coming back, as a grown woman, to a family that still envisions her when she was a child. She incorporates dance into her photography as reflects her journey, trials, and tribulations during her time staying with her family to care for her father whom had been dealing with cancer.


_______hood is an exhibition focused on the "coming of age" and "rite of passage" concepts with identity. The exhibition was a display of five emerging artists, whose work reflected different aspects of identity, and their process of becoming establish professional artists in the contemporary art world. In the artist talk, also broadcased live on YouTube,  discussed their work, their process, the issues their work addressed, and their personal stories and influences that inspired them on their path.

Eli Matson

Matson opens conversation around the topic of toxic masculinity. with his series of paintings comprised of unconventional materials. In his work, Matson addresses the issue by taking materials from what are believed to be "a man's job", such as motor oil, antifreeze, plaster, resin, and uses these materials to make large scale paintings. Over time, the work decays as the abrasive materials begin to break down the work and its integrity, reflecting the nature of culture's mindset to what a man should be.

Nicholas Joseph Contrera

Contrera questions the constructs of gender as a whole through a series of photographs of gender-fluid subjects. His collection are all made up of 8 X 10 tintypes portraying  people who may play their gender role during the day, but at night begin blurring those lines. In this series, he also seeks to capture the sense of community and tribal bonds among the subjects and himself in the LGBTQIAP community.