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Devin Allen: A Beautiful Ghetto

A Beautiful Ghetto

Photographs by Devin Allen, 2017 Gordon Parks Fellowship recipient


Pleasantville, New York – The Gordon Parks Foundation announces the upcoming exhibition of photographs A Beautiful Ghetto on view at the Foundation’s exhibition space from September 15 through November 18, 2017, which showcases the 2017 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellow Devin Allen’s documentation of the landscape and community of Baltimore immediately following the death of Freddie Gray. Born and raised in West Baltimore, Allen gained national attention when his photograph of the protests was published on the cover of Time Magazine – only the third time the work of an amateur photographer had been showcased there.

In mid-April 2015, the city of Baltimore erupted in mass protests in response to the arrest, hospitalization and resulting death of Freddie Gray who was severely injured while in police custody. This exhibition provides a window into the heart of a community rocked by fear, desperation and unrest in response to police brutality not only in their own city, but nationwide. Allen’s camera acts as a witness to the first peaceful public protest that evolved into looting and rioting casting an international spotlight on the city. The work not only acts as an archive of the demonstrations in response to Gray’s death, but also forces the viewer to ask hard questions of their society and of themselves. The images humanize the often misrepresented protesters of the burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement and complicate prevalent ideas about the “ghetto” as Allen strives to capture the life of his city and the people who live there.

Devin Allen was selected as The Gordon Parks Foundation’s inaugural fellow in 2017 because his artistic practice and dedication to social justice reflects the passion, vision and humanity of Gordon Parks, who Allen names as a hero. Recently, Allen has turned his attention towards arming the youth of Baltimore with cameras, not guns as Parks similarly chose a camera as his “weapon of choice.” The mission of his Through Their Eyes project is to spread “hope and love through art” by training students from districts where arts education programs have been underfunded on how to use photography to express themselves. Allen provides students with cameras, donates his time holding youth photography workshops and organizes exhibitions of the students’ work. Allen is dedicated to empowering young people to tell their stories and the fellowship will support the continuation of his Through Their Eyes project.

An artist reception and book signing will be held the evening of Friday, September 15. Allen’s publication A Beautiful Ghetto (Haymarket Books, 2017) will be available for sale throughout the run of the exhibition.


For more information and press images please contact Amanda Smith: amanda@mkfound.org or 914-238-2619.


Hours & Admission    

Free and open to the public.

M-F: 10am-4pm
Sat: 10am-3pm

General Information

48 Wheeler Avenue, Floor 1
Pleasantville, NY 10570
Tel: (914) 238-2619

Social Media

Facebook: The Gordon Parks Foundation
Twitter: @GparksFound
Instagram: gordonparksfoundation
Website: www.gordonparksfoundation.org

Event Location and Ticket Information

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The Gordon Parks Foundation
48 Wheeler Ave
Pleasantville, NY 10570
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017
Times: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event

Presenter: The Gordon Parks Foundation
Presenter Phone: (914) 238-2619
Presenter Website: http://www.gordonparksfoundation.org/exhibitions/a-beautiful-ghetto

Sponsor Message

Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am-3pm