Onaje Benjamin: Storytelling in Black and White

Filed in Exhibitions, Past Exhibitions by on November 30, 2023

Onaje Benjamin: Storytelling in Black and White

January 19–February 25, 2024
Reception: Saturday, January 20 | 4-6pm


This presentation includes a selection of Benjamin’s black and white photographs that explore culture and humanity through scenes of daily public life. Benjamin’s photographs capture both beauty and conflict as mechanisms of social change. Photographs on view feature scenes such as neighborhood storefronts, window displays, architectural landmarks, and everyday people engaging in work and leisure. Works are rebellious in spirit, and step toward points of tension, struggle and complexity, 

Onaje Benjamin’s career spans five decades serving as a community activist committed to social justice and human rights. He served on the Dutchess County Criminal Justice Council and the Re-entry Task Force. Subsequent to his retirement from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office where he served as a Transition Counselor for fifteen years, Onaje became an Academic Coordinator for Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, where he worked with SUNY Ulster College in the development of an Associate Degree program at the Shawangunk Correctional Facility. He currently works part-time as part-time Case Manager for Elder Abuse and serves as a Commissioner to the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights. Onaje is the recipient of the Association of Black Social Workers Outstanding Achievement Award and was the first recipient of the Moe Foner Fellowship for Social Justice awarded jointly by the Empire State College Graduate Degree Program at SUNY and the Bread & Roses Foundation-1199 Hospital Workers Union SEIU, AFL-CIO. A natural Creative, Onaje has maintained a life-long passion for photography and Jazz. He is currently the Artistic Director of Ujamaa Studios, where he and his artist wife Shirley create works of art. 

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