LaToya Ruby Frazier, an internationally recognized visual artist and social justice advocate, will return to her alma mater to deliver the commencement address at Edinboro University’s undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 4.
Frazier, who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts – Applied Media Arts from Edinboro in 2004, will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the ceremony.
Chosen by Ebony as one of the 100+ Most Powerful Women of All Time, Frazier uses photography, video and performance art to capture the effects of economic erosion, racism, healthcare inequality and environmental toxicity in post-industrial cities. Her compositions aim to combat social injustice by amplifying the voices of marginalized and vulnerable populations.
She has earned numerous recognitions throughout her career, including the International Center for Photography Infinity Award, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, one of the most notable intellectual and creative fellowship awards in the world.
Her work has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally, with solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Seattle Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Frazier’s most recent exhibit, “On the Making of Steel Genesis,” is a profile of artist and archivist, Sarah Gould Ford.
Published in late 2014 by Aperture, Frazier’s first book, “The Notion of Family,” documents the lives of three generations of her family amid the deindustrialization in her hometown of Braddock, Pa, a once-thriving steel mill town outside of Pittsburgh.
She has often credited Kathe Kowalski, her photography professor at Edinboro University, with having played a key role in her growth and success as a photographer. Kowalski passed away in 2006 after a battle with cancer.
After graduating from Edinboro, Frazier received a Master of Fine Arts in Art Photography from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. She has also studied under the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program and was the Guna S. Mundheim Fellow for visual arts at the American Academy in Berlin.
Frazier is an associate professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She previously held academic and curatorial positions at Yale University School of Art, Rutgers University and Syracuse University.
With photo: LaToya Ruby Frazier, an internationally recognized visual artist and social justice advocate, will return to Edinboro University to deliver the commencement address at Edinboro’s undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 4.