Lectures > College

"Conjure, Light, Forward Momentum"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
01h: 12m:12s | 1319 views

The 2013 Spring Presidential Lecture Series
"Conjure, Light, Forward Momentum"
Jules Allen Professor, Art and Design
Queensborough Community College, The City University of New York
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 4:30 p.m.
Medical Arts Building, Room 136

Lecture Summary
Photography and teaching are inseparable components of one another in behavior, enlightenment and irony.

Professor Jules T. Allen, Art and Design, Queensborough Community College, discusses his approach to photography as both an observer and interpreter of the contemporary black experience. Whether inside a boxing gym, on a city sidewalk or in a marching band, his subjects become compelling characters in life's play.

Professor Allen presents his extensive portfolio—an overview of a quarter century of artistic endeavors—and addresses the relationships between photography, teaching and publishing.

He also shares how his decision to pursue teaching was a process inspired by the people he has photographed through the years.

"Teaching has allowed me to work through my own ideas of photography and learn from my wonderful students to challenge them and be progressive."

Professor Jules Allen's photography expresses the essential truth that a culture's power is clearest when presented on its own terms and thus evocative of the contemporary black experience. His images place subjects, drawn from the richness of black life, within universal paradigms.

Professor Allen was born in San Francisco, CA and attended California State University, earning a BA in Fine Arts and an MS in Clinical Counseling Psychology. Professor Allen later earned a Master of Fine Arts from Hunter College in New York City.

Professor Allen's work as a psychiatric social worker in the criminal justice system in the San Francisco area helped shape his life and approach to photography. While working as a New York commercial photographer in editorial, advertising, and entertainment, Professor Allen pursued the development of his personal vision.

Early influences on Professor Allen include Jack Welpott, with whom he studied during his first formal photography class at California State University. Welpott is a well-known portrait and landscape photographer, student, and protégé of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Professor Allen also credits Edward Weston, Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, and Roy deCarava, with whom he studied at Hunter College.

The recipient of numerous grants and awards, Professor Allen has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad. His photographs are included in museums and private collections worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian, National Gallery, Schomburg Center for Culture and Research, and others.

Professor Allen has published four books in collaboration with QCC Art Gallery: Hats and HatNots, Black Bodies, Double Up, and In Your Own Sweet Way.

Allen's work can be viewed at

Presenter: Jules Allen