‘Black Essence Photography Exhibit’ to open Saturday

Feb. 24—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Camillya Taylor did not want to just focus on the past during this year’s Black History Month.

So the owner of Camille’s House of Styles Salon and Boutique brought together six Pennsylvania photographers — Brenda Davis, Darius Levine Davis, Corwin Hall, William Pittman, Lawrence Smith and Lahtifya Taylor — to celebrate current Black culture.

Their pictures will be displayed over the next two weeks as part of the “Black Essence Photography Exhibit” at Studio 404, a space owned by Donna Baxter Porcher and David C. Porcher at 404 Messenger St. in Johnstown’s Hornerstown neighborhood.

A grand opening is scheduled to take place beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“A lot of these pictures symbolize just like amazing things that we’re doing in our community, and I thought what better to do than to bring them all together and showcase them,” Camillya Taylor said.

Brenda Davis and Lahtifya Taylor, both from Johnstown, will get the chance to display works in their hometown.

“For me, being a year in (to being a photographer), I may have never been able to show my stuff at this level, so I’m very grateful,” Lahtifya Taylor said.

Davis said it “is awesome to get people interested in gallery-type photography, to see it actually displayed.”

She added: “It really means a lot to have this collaboration, to have photographers come together and display some of their work that we don’t always have the opportunity to do if you’re not going to a website or something like that.”

Pittman and Hall are from Pittsburgh, while Darius Levine Davis and Smith live in Harrisburg.

Smith said being part of the exhibit is “humbling.”

“It means a lot,” Smith said.

“It means a great deal. It’s a culmination of a lot of work, and what we’ve captured and how we see ourselves and how we see others.”

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