Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries
66 Fifth Ave
Parsons School of Design

(under)REPRESENT(ed) is an exhibition that features Parsons alumni of color whose creative practices explore the lived experience of race and aim to dismantle systems of racism.

Noelle Flores Théard, MFA Photography ’14

Noelle Flores Theard is a Programs Associate at the Magnum Foundation. She holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University, and an MFA in Photography from Parsons School Of Design. Before joining the Magnum Foundation, Noelle taught in the Art History and African Diaspora programs at Florida International University in Miami and was the photography coordinator for photography at YoungArts, a foundation that supports young artists in ten different artistic disciplines. In addition she worked for many years as a stringer for the Miami Herald. She is a cofounder of FotoKonbit, a non-profit that teaches photography in Haiti in order to provide Haitians with training and opportunities to tell their own stories through photography. Noelle was the Director of Photography for Dr. Yaba Blay’s book and web project titled (1)ne Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race.

(1)ne Drop

Noelle Flores Théard, MFA Photography ’14

People of African descent reflect a multiplicity of skin tones and phenotypic characteristics. Often times, however, when met by people who self-identify as ‘Black,’ but do not fit into a prototypical model of ‘Blackness,’ many of us not only question their identity, but challenge their Blackness, and thus our potential relationship to them. A multi-platform project, inclusive of a (forthcoming) full-color portrait essay book, online exhibit, and traveling exhibition & lecture, (1)ne Drop literally explores the “other” faces of Blackness – those who may not immediately be recognized, accepted, or embraced as ‘Black’ in this visually racialized society. (1)ne Drop seeks to challenge narrow, yet popular perceptions of what Blackness is and what Blackness looks like. On the whole, the project seeks to raise social awareness and spark community dialogue about the complexities of Blackness as both an identity and a lived reality. If we can recalibrate our lenses to see Blackness as a broader category of identity and experience, perhaps we will be able to see ourselves as part of a larger global community.

How would you describe your day to day job and/or artistic practice?

I am an arts administrator at the Magnum Foundation, which supports photographers through grant making and mentorship.

Would you describe your career path as typical? Why or why not?

My path has been windy and I've been lucky to have travelled extensively and worked in numerous roles in the non-profit and education worlds.

In what ways have your identities impacted your education and career paths?

I have a responsibility to create pathways to equity for artists of color.

Posted in Artists.