Charzette Torrence, Detroit native and renowned portrait photographer, will return to Michigan to present her latest exhibit on April 4 at the Pittmann-Puckett Art Gallery at Affirmations. She has photographed celebrities such as Aretha Franklin, Ellen DeGeneres and Chaka Khan. Her exhibit “Just As We Are” depicts the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from all walks of life in 30 black and white portraits. A meet-the-artist reception will take place at 6:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion – “Our Gay Image in the Media” – moderated by Johnny Jenkins of Arcus Foundation, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Panelists include Dr. Kofi Adoma, Terry Howcott, Madison Leigh, Curtis Lipscomb, Charles Pugh, Alicia Skillman, June Washington and Andrea Wilson.
“It’s an honor to be a part of an exhibition so relevant to our lives, and by a Detroit-artist whose work I’ve always admired,” Jenkins said.
The photographs are a response to the way lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are represented in mainstream media. “These pictures portray our work and who we are,” Charzette Torrence said in a statement. “Just As We Are” has been touring the country to re-frame the way lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are seen, and the way they see themselves. The exhibit travels from the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, and will remain at Affirmations until early May.
Charzette Torrence, known as Charlie T., has been tackling social issues through photography for nearly 20 years. Her art documents the power of the human spirit, focusing on single working parents, grief, homelessness, and now LGBT people at work. Charlie T. was the first African American graduate
from the photography program at Detroit’s renowned art school, College for Creative Studies. Her photographs have been featured in Black Enterprise, Code, Hue, Essence, Uneq and Emerge. For more information about the artist or “Just As We Are,” visit http://www.justaswearetour.org.