Excerpt from Inside Bay Area article profiling Oakland, CA photographer Lonny Shavelson.
“The photographs are hung from fabric panels to create a kind of soft-edged maze in one of the museum’s big galleries. Most of the images require captions or more involved text to make their cross-cultural point — that, for instance, a Filipina is portraying the Hindu goddess Lakshmi in a Festival of Light event.
There are a number of intriguing photographs, however, bringing into sharp focus what many Bay Area residents take for granted on a daily basis. Among the subjects: Laotian-American athletes with cornrow hairstyles at predominantly black Oakland high school; a black teenager as a lion dancer at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in San Francisco; and the dragon boat races on the Oakland Estuary, complete with a blessing by Thai Buddhist monks.”
PHOTO: CAPTURING DIVERSITY: Laotian- American (Mien) athletes from a predominantly black high school are part of the Oakland Museum of California photography exhibit called Trading Traditions. (LONNY SHAVELSON Heyday Books)