Master photographer and artist to speak at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts


Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is offering an up-close and personal experience with internationally renowned photographer, author, and artist Todd Gray.


At fifteen Gray started a photography business with his close friend and photographer Neil Zlozower. Within two years they had photographed an album cover, rolled with the Rolling Stones, and had photos in Life Magazine. He credits Ray Manzasrek, keyboardist for The Doors, for inspiring his further studies at Cal Arts, where he would later go on to receive an MFA and then teach as a professor of art at California State University, Long Beach. Gray’s career expanded to even greater heights documenting musical legends like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson among other notable pop and rock stars.


This early-career manifested into a greater insight within Gray’s work in West and South African landscapes, where he took documentary photos of everyday life at his studio in Ghana. Gray layers his archive of photographs with formal European gardens and far-flung galaxies to focus attention on the inherent complexities of lived Black experiences in his exhibition Todd Gray: Crossing the Waters of Space, Time, and History.


Gray will share insights into his creative process with Rehema Barber, Chief Curator of the KIA, for an intimate and enlightening evening on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Come early to see the exhibition and discover how the artist’s perspective deepens your understanding of his work. An opportunity to meet the artist will begin during the exhibition viewing and light reception at 5 p.m., with the discussion starting at 6 p.m.


The exhibition, on view at the KIA until Jan. 2, 2022, debuts new works, some of the artist’s personal sketches, a curated selection of books, and an artist’s Spotify playlist.