"Urbana" Photographs by Major Morris

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"Urbana" Photographs by Major Morris
Curated by: Melissa Inez Walker

317 E Grand Ave
Escondido, CA 92025
December 10th, 2011 - January 7th, 2012
Opening: December 10th, 2011 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Other (outside main areas)
Tues - Fri 10-6, Sat 12 - 5
urban, conceptual, modern, pop, contemporary, visual, figurative, Art, LOWBROW, photography, social, civil rights photography, graffiti/street-art


Distinction and ArtHatch Present:

"Urbana" Photographs by Major Morris 

December 10, 2011 - January 7, 2011

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 10, 2011 from 6-10pm

Distinction and ArtHatch are pleased to present Major Morris “Urbana”.  A stunning display of black and white photographs by ninety-year-old Morris, many of which have never been printed.  The exhibit will open at the gallery on December 10th, from 6-10 pm and will be on display through January 7, 2012.  Morris will be present for a meet and greet.  In addition we will have dancers from Orange Glen Dance Company performing in the gallery at 7pm and 8pm.  This event will be highlighted with special discounts throughout our 14 studios and art supply store featuring over 30 local artists and beer compliments of Stone Brewery for those 21+.

A few of Morris’s significant life events include being drafted into the army after being denied volunteer entry due to the fact that he is African American-  Major ended up being part of the 92nd Infantry Division- (aka Buffalo Soldiers the only segregated unit to see combat during World War ll), surviving through the great depression, and after never finishing high school at the age of 52 he attended and graduated from Harvard University and later become a professor.

In Major’s words “I have always been drawn to capturing images of what life was for me as I groped my way through an underprivileged youthful existence; what life continues to be for so many young people living in circumstances similar to those of my early childhood, and in capturing those images, expressing what I feel about the strength and beauty of those children who refuse to be victims.  What I see is the reality of the physical circumstances into which these youngsters have been brought to life.  What I see is the indomitable spirit that feeds the imagination, the curiosity, the need for doing that is natural to these and all youngsters during their formative years.  I see the possibilities for growth, for the excitement of learning, for the formation of dreams that will take them up and out into productive, contributive lives.  What I see is the need for the dreams to be nurtured.  That is what my photographs are about.”

In a city where racial tension is a part of daily life this exhibit will serve as a reminder that we are all the same underneath; what truly sets us apart is how we choose to treat others in our daily lives. 

The exhibit will consist of 23 of Major’s most significant black and white photographs created over the past seventy years, primarily in the fifties and sixties, including many never before seen works and several exhibited large scale. 

During the past 7 years Walker has curated and presented 65 exhibitions that have been hosted at ArtHatch (formerly Distinction).  Walker first met Morris in 2006.  The two have been close friends ever since.

Exhibition will be held from December 10, 2011 – January 7, 2012.

This exhibition would not be possible without our generous in kind sponsors Stone Brewery, Will Gibson, Kurt Lightfoot, Digital One, South Frames, and Distinction Gallery. 

ArtHatch is a 7000 square foot building which houses the front gallery: exhibitions changing monthly, "The Alley," featuring new and previous works from over 75 artists, the teen room featuring artwork by 6 local teens, 14 artist studios, ranging in size from 150 to 800 square feet, featuring the work of over 28 local artists, and "The Lounge", containing 8 walls featuring local artists. The front gallery features contemporary and cutting edge artwork.

A variety of art books, prints, and collectors dolls are now available for purchase.



317 East Grand Avenue

Escondido, CA 92025

(760) 781-5779

*in 2010 we received our 501(c)(3) status and became known as ArtHatch.  Management remains the same, but we will soon be expanding our programs even further.  We are also now able to accept donations in exchange for a tax receipt, which if successful, will help us remain in existence. 

All art sales will now be handled online at


ArtHatch & ArtHatch Art Supply Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm, & Saturday 12-5pm