Reginald Cunningham: Black Pearls

Family of three, one sitting, two standing.

Reginald Cunningham, "The Andersons," 2022, C-print. Courtesy of the Artist 

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Adults: $16.00
Seniors (ages 65+): $12.00
Groups: $10.00
High School Students (under 18): FREE
Children (under 15): FREE

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Wed - Fri - Sat - Sun: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Thu: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

Mon - Tue: Closed


2nd Floor Focus Gallery

“Black Pearls” brought Washington DC-based photographer and activist Reginald Cunningham to Boca Raton’s historic Pearl City neighborhood to photograph the stories of generations. The artist captured not just images of Pearl City residents, but also the physical and ephemeral elements that make up the community. Pearl City is the oldest existing neighborhood in Boca, and its physical property anchors downtown, located south of Glades Boulevard between Dixie and Federal Highways. Pearl City's community, however, stretches beyond these physical limits. Cunningham photographed, and with the aid of Dr. Candace Cunningham, captured the oral histories of both current-day Pearl City residents and the children of the original settlers that have moved to other cities. Investigating further the different ways that community can be defined, the 24 photographs in Cunningham’s special exhibition highlight Pearl City people and landmarks. Visitors also heard the stories in the subjects' own words via audio and transcribed video of the interviews. The exhibition was accompanied by a full-color catalog featuring an introduction to the artist by Dr. Imani Cheers and an historical essay on Pearl City by Dr. Candace Cunningham. Equally important to this project is the aid of the Boca Raton Historical Society which provided a wealth of historical information, particularly through their permanent online exhibition "Pearl City: A Community Remembers."

About the Artist:

Reginald Cunningham is a prominent Washington DC-based photographer that works in the dynamic fields of concert, fashion, and activist photography. Cunningham only fully embraced photography as recently as 2017, but within just five years, his work graced the cover of British Vogue’s 2020 September issue. Additionally, his photographs have been featured in international publications such as "The Washington Post," "Essence," "HuffPost," "Ebony," and "Buzzfeed." Throughout his career, Cunningham has made his focus the celebration of Black talent. Between his Master of Arts in Media + Communications, his established skill in fine art photography, and his interest in promoting revolutionary images, Cunningham has established a distinguished career path; It is a rare artist whose social activism matches their artistry.



Remote video URL

Color portrait photographs of Pearl City residents with archival materials case in foreground and ceramic sculpture in background.

Photograph by Jacek Gancarz 

Explanatory text and color photographic portraits of Pearl City residents with three images of churches in background.

Photograph by Jacek Gancarz 

Thirteen portraits and architectural color photographs of Pearl City, Boca Raton.

Photograph by Jacek Gancarz 

Nine color photographs of Pearl City residents and signage with video screen featuring text.

Photograph by Jacek Gancarz 

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Additional Sponsor Text

This exhibition is made possible with the generous support of Barb Schmidt and Michelle Maros and the Schmidt Family Foundation.

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