Shine Portrait StudioResident Partner

Image: The Shine Portrait Studio at Express Newark.

Who We Are

Shine is an artist-driven, socially-engaged art project that is in collaboration with other artists, photographers, curators, community partners and students.

The Shine project is inspired by and dedicated to the monumental photographer James Van Der Zee. Prior to Van Der Zee’s lauded career in Harlem, NY, he had his beginnings in 1911 at the Hahne’s department store portrait concession, where he worked as an assistant in the darkroom, and later, as a photographer.

The name “Shine” was inspired by art historian, and Newark, NJ native, Nikki A. Greene, Ph.D., from her lecture, Rhythms of Grease, Grime, Glass, and Glitter: The Body in Contemporary Black Art, at the 2016 Black Portraiture(s) II Conference. Greene referenced the book of fellow art historian, Krista Thompson, Ph.D., Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice.