Production Company: Dan Klein Films. Executive Producer: Dan Klein. Director of Photography and Editor: Quinn Murphy. Production Coordinator: Carter Dutton-Kneaves.

Held in conjunction with the opening of Jammie Holmes: Church Folks at The Gordon Parks Foundation Gallery.

Jammie Holmes and José Parlá are the 2023 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellows in Art.
Melanee C. Harvey is the 2023 Gordon Parks Foundation Genevieve Young Fellow in Writing.
Moderated by Michal Raz-Russo, programs director at The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Jammies Holmes was born and raised in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and is currently based in Dallas, Texas. He is known for paintings that portray intimate and poignant scenes of distinctly American communities, families, and traditions. Holmes draws heavily on his own recollections to depict the stories and experiences of Black life in the deep American South, capturing moments of celebration and struggle. The artist, who works intuitively and without formal artistic training, creates expressive tableaux that incorporate portraiture, symbols, text, and objects to reveal universal truths through personal narratives. Holmes is a self-taught painter. Following his graduation from high school, Holmes spent more than a decade working in an oil field. His work has most recently been presented in exhibitions at Library Street Collective, Detroit; Deitch Projects, Los Angeles; Marianne Boesky, New York; Nassima-Landau Projects, Tel Aviv; Dallas Museum of Art; and Dallas Contemporary, among others. His work is also included in the permanent collections of the Aïshti Foundation, Brooklyn Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Hammer Museum, ICA Miami, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, New Orleans Museum of Art, Perez Museum of Art, X Museum, and The Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art.

José Parlá has been working for more than twenty five years to establish a style of painting that transforms the language of the street into a hybrid form of abstraction and urban realism. From the outset, Parlá has sought to interpret his experience of cities that have served as crossroads in his life, from Miami to Brooklyn, San Juan to Havana, London to Tokyo, Istanbul to Hong Kong as a central theme in his work, while purposefully engaging with the rich history of painting since the rise of abstraction in the 1950s. His work provides markers of time, and is about the accumulation of information that settles like accretions upon the surfaces of walls and streets, like the lines on the hands and faces of the people who inhabit them. Parlá is known for his permanent installations of large-scale paintings and community engagement as a co-founder of Wide Awakes. In 2015 he painted the monumental mural ONE: Union of the Senses in the lobby of One World Trade Center. Other notable mural projects include Nature of Language at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University, and the mural Diary of Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, and Amistad América at The University of Texas at Austin. Solo institutional exhibitions of Parla’s work have been organized at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2020); Istanbul74’ a project of the Istanbul Biennial (2019); HOCA Foundation, Hong Kong (2019); Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. (2018); Neuberger Museum of Art, New York (2018); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah (2017); National YoungArts Foundation, Miami (2016); and The High Museum of Art, Atlanta (2015). Parlá’s work is in several public collections including Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); The British Museum, London; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; POLA Museum of Art, Hakone, Japan; The Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; El Espacio, Miami; and The National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba. Parlá studied at Miami Dade Community College, New World School of the Arts, and Savannah College of Art & Design. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Melanee C. Harvey is associate professor of art history in the Department of Art in the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University. She earned a B.A. from Spelman College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in American Art and Architectural History from Boston University. In addition to serving as coordinator for the art history area of study, she has served as programming chair for the James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora at Howard University since 2016. She has published on architectural iconography in African American art, Black Arts Movement artists, religious art of Black liberation theology and ecowomanist art practices. Her recent publications include a thematic introduction on motion for Movements, Motions, Moments: Photographs of Religion and Spirituality from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Double Exposure Series) and an entry on the artistic activism of Benny Andrews in The Unforgettables: Expanding the History of American Art (University of California Press, 2022). During the 2020-2021 academic year, Melanee was in residence as the Paul Mellon Guest Scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art. She is currently writing her first book entitled, Patterns of Permanence: African Methodist Episcopal Architecture and Visual Culture.