Talks & Tours

Artist Talk: Adreinne Waheed and John E Dowell

Saturday | FEBRUARY 10, 2024 5PM-7PM

Join the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for an Artist Talk on Saturday, February 10th.

Senior Curator Dr. Kelli Morgan leads an insightful conversation with distinguished artists Adreinne Waheed and John E. Dowell as part of The Wright Museum’s Black History Month programming. Two new exhibitions feature each artist. Adreinne Waheed: The Audacity to Thrive is the first museum exhibition of Waheed’s work where she explores the boldness of African-descended peoples, who thrive in the face of challenges. John E. Dowell: Paths to Freedom presents photographs, an immersive installation, and new video work by the Philadelphia-based artist that asks us to consider what it may have been like to pursue freedom during the antebellum period. 

Enjoy a conversation with Adreinne Waheed and John E Dowell, hear insights on their work, and take a deeper look at their exhibitions.

This event is free and open to the public but does require registration. Don't miss out on these amazing exhibitions and conversation!


  • 5:00 - 6:00:  Public Reception 
  • 6:00 - 7:00:  Artist Talk


Meet the Artists and the Curator 


Adreinne Waheed is a photographer, photo editor and book author based in Brooklyn, NY and Berkeley, CA. Her book Black Joy and Resistance is currently available on Amazon. Since the age of 13, Waheed has made extraordinary images of Black life. Her photography appears in the inaugural issue of Mfon: A Journal of Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She has also been published by The New York Times and she has exhibited at Rush Arts, The Corridor Gallery, and the Long Gallery. 

As photo editor, she has produced and directed numerous shoots for publications including Vibe, King and Essence magazines. And in 2010, she created the Waheed Photo Archive, an extensive collection of found portraits of African Americans from the Civil War to the present. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) acquired the archive in 2015. Selected images from this collection and a related essay can be found in NMAAHC’s latest book, Everyday Beauty. 

John E. Dowell, Jr., is a nationally recognized artist who captures the pulse of cities and agricultural landscapes of America in his large-scale photographs. Working primarily from sunset until dawn, he focuses on the surface of buildings, the reflections of their exteriors and, quietly, their interior spaces. Illuminating the unseen, he brings awareness to a single moment. 

For the past several years, he has built extended photographs of modern agronomy. These crops provoke thoughts of cultural, political, and economic concerns that are often overlooked. He strives to incite the viewer to re-examine their assumptions of place and time. Now imagine being inside a field of cotton, corn, or a banana plantation. Sense the evolution of history. 

An artist and master-printer for more than four decades, Dowell’s fine art prints, paintings and photographs have been featured in more than 50 solo exhibitions and represented in the permanent collections of over 70 museums and public collections. Among them are the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France. John Dowell is a Philadelphia native and Professor Emeritus of Printmaking at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. 

Dr. Kelli Morgan is the recently appointed senior curator at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI. Besides her own curatorial experience, she mentors emerging curators and regularly trains staff at various museums to foster best practices in collection management, exhibitions, community engagement, and fundraising. She is a leading and influential voice in furthering museum practice and has previously held curatorial positions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.