Lonnie Holley and Sheila Pree Bright
Zillions of Rock:
I spent time with the internationally renowned artist and performer Lonnie Holley before the opening of his solo exhibition “It’s Like Coming Home” at Cash Rojas Projects here in Atlanta.
As an artist myself, I was blown away by his conversations while I sat listening to him talk about the zillion rocks on the ground at Dancing Goat Coffee. He created a piece of art for me out of one of the zillion rocks that laid upon the ground.
"I think in the zillions. There is zillions of rocks for me to use at any given time. Out of those zillions of rocks, I took and I took and I put it in your hands, and the spirit say that you can count on me if you believe. This is part of being real.” -Lonnie Holley.
I caught moments of Lonnie at photographer Lucinda Bunnen's house and at his opening. The image of him sitting in the chair was at Lucinda house. The other three were at the gallery.
In October 2013, I launched “1960 Who," a public art series presenting photographic portraitures on community walls in Atlanta symbolizing a stand against bullies and overcoming struggle. The series was my first body of work created for the streets. The work shows college students of the 1960‘s, who were known for their courage and non-violent protest against Jim Crow laws during social strife between races in the South. Members of the Atlanta Student Movement and Freedom Riders can be seen in downtown Atlanta and the historic Fourth Ward. In phase 2, I will put more youth leaders from the 1960's on city walls around the country so communities are reminded that neighborhoods can be socially improved through teamwork and ultimately innovative thinking. Phase 2 will kick off in 2015 in the following cities: Birmingham, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Detroit, and Chicago. Lonnie Holley will be on the walls in Birmingham.
I set up my studio lights up at Cash Rojas Projects. Upon Lonnie's entry into the gallery I noticed he was wearing a plaid brown shirt, a black leather vest, brown dress pants, and black causal shoes. As he entered into my space at the back of the gallery, I asked him to stand on the marker and to gaze into the lens of the camera. He immediately looked at me with laughter and held out his hand saying, "I ain't nothing but a butterfly," and at that moment, I pressed the button to take the picture of the butterfly in his hand.
Color images of Lonnie Holley by Sheila Pree Bright.
Black and white images and image of Sheila Pree Bright photographing Lonnie Holley: Terrell Clark.
Sheila Pree Bright is a fine art photographer based in Atlanta.