Photography was not always Jetta Nicoline Harrison’s passion. She fell in love with photography during her senior year of high school after the death of her grandfather.
“It helped me to see beauty in the world again through a lens. From there photography has been something that I’ve stuck with,” Jetta Nicoline Harrison said.
Jetta lives in Bloomsburg and during the pandemic, she started a project called Meet My Melanin. She does free photo shoots for people of color and learns their stories.
“It’s about someone telling their history. It’s about someone practicing using their voice in a world that silences us every single day,” Harrison said.
Jetta’s work is currently featured in Bucknell University’s Samak Art Gallery in downtown Lewisburg.
“We’re not used to having those spaces where we can come in and have it be all about us for once. I really wanted to create a space where that is the reality for them,” Harrison said.
The three-month exhibit features 22 pictures and stories of people of color who also live in central Pennsylvania.
“There aren’t a lot of pivotal moments in your life where you have the opportunity to choose how you’re being seen,” Mayor Kendy Alvarez said.
Lewisburg Mayor Kendy Alvarez’s picture was featured in part one of the exhibit.
“This was an opportunity to have a photo in a space where you feel comfortable, in a space where you feel more yourself, where you’re choosing how you’re being represented,” Mayor Alvarez said.
Jetta says she has mixed feelings about her work being on display during Black History Month.
“I’m so grateful for it but I want to be very intentional that people understand it’s not just Black History Month. It’s all the time,” Harrison said.
This Sunday at the Lewisburg Campus Theatre, there will be a celebration featuring additional pictures from the project and firsthand stories from some of the participants.
Jetta says Meet My Melanin will continue even after the display closes. For more information click here.
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