Low Plaza

A Photographic Exhibition Celebrates Scenes from Two Great Jazz Cities


Gerald Cyrus is a photographer of the Harlem Jazz scene, among other subjects. His work has earned him national recognition as an artist-chronicler. Cyrus' solo exhibitions include: The American Museum of Natural History (2000); San Bernardino Valley College (1999); University of California Extension Center, San Francisco (1996); En Foco Touring Gallery, New York, and Midtown Y Gallery, New York.

Cyrus has been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including: "Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers" at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (2001); "Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present" at the Smithsonian Museum Anacostia Center for African America History and Culture, Washington, DC. (2000); "Harlem" at the Leica Gallery, New York (2000); "Black New York Photographers of the 20th Century" at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York (1999), and "Keeping Track of the Joneses" at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1998).

His work has been published and reviewed in publications including: Committed to the Image by Barbara Head Millstein (2001); Reflections in Black by Deborah Willis (2000); Typing in the Dark, by Saundra Sharp (1991); The New York Times; The Washington Post; The Village Voice; DoubleTake; L.A. Style; Tema Celeste; Nueva Luz and Fotophile. Cyrus' work has been collected by the Schomburg Center; Museum of the City of New York; New Orleans Museum of Art; Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS; Readers' Digest Corporation and the New York Public Library.

His grants and awards include the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in 1998 and Light Work Artist Residency in Syracuse, 1995. He has a Masters of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York.


Michael P. Smith is a New Orleans native and an award-winning professional free-lance photographer. His special interest over the last 25 years has been the music and cultural life of New Orleans--social club parades, jazz funerals, Mardi Gras traditions and Spiritual Church ceremonies. He has photographed at every New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival since its beginning in the 1970s.

Smith's work has been presented at the Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Institution and numerous other museums, galleries and jazz festivals throughout the United States and Europe. His work is part of the permanent collections of the Bibliotheque National in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Historic New Orleans Collection, and other important archives. It also graces the covers of many CDs and albums of New Orleans'/South Louisiana's most famous musicians.

Smith has received two Photographer's Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. His prints have toured worldwide through the United States Information Agency (USIA) and the Louisiana State Museum.

He is author of four books, including: Spirit World: Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture of Africa-American New Orleans; A Joyful Noise: A Celebration of New Orleans Music; New Orleans Jazz Fest: A Pictorial History; Jazz Fest Memories, and Mardi Gras Indians, a visual and sociological history of a unique masking and musical tradition in New Orleans' older black neighborhoods. He is currently working on a new book, The Spirit of New Orleans: A Celebration of Freedom.

This exhibition is curated by Jorge Daniel Veneciano.

To view the photo gallery, click here.

Published: Aug 07, 2001
Last modified: Sep 18, 2002

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