Golden States of Grace

Golden States of Grace
Leslie, Women of Wisdom. Photo by Rick Nahmias.
by Lindsey Kouvaris '02 and Clay Hamilton |
Photographer Rick Nahmias explores faith on the edges of society in a photodocumentary exhibit at the de Saisset Museum.

We often see depictions of conventional religious practices, yet we rarely encounter the alternative forms of spiritual expression adopted by marginalized communities. Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited, an exhibit at the de Saisset Museum through March 18, 2012, aims to give a voice to those who participate in the diverse religious landscape of California, but who have been pushed to the edges of society because of conditions, actions, or circumstances.

In this photographic series, artist Rick Nahmias ventures into 11 communities who are turning to eight different faith traditions to find refuge, family, and identity. Looking to Eastern, Western, and indigenous traditions from around the state, Nahmias depicts groups who represent the remarkable ethnic, racial, religious, and sexual diversity in California. Whether they are Zen Buddhists practicing within the walls of San Quentin State Prison, members of a Jewish congregation of recovering addicts, or participants in the world's only transgender gospel choir, each group stands at a religious and cultural intersection that few others have experienced.

Nahmias photographed and interviewed participants in the different communities, recorded songs to serve as an atmospheric backdrop, and collected prayers to accompany the book of the exhibit.

Golden States of Grace: Prayers of the Disinherited runs at the de Saisset Museum through March 18, 2012. See a list of current exhibits here.

Nahmias speaks about the project in the videotaped intervew below.

Selected works from the exhibit






Rick Nahmias,
Indian Suitcase, Federated Indians
of Graton Rancheria.

 

Rick Nahmias,
Leslie, Women of Wisdom.
 

Rick Nahmias,
Yajahira, Santísima Muerte
.
 

Rick Nahmias,
Stations of the
Cross,
Immaculate Heart Community
.

 

Rick Nahmias,
Challah, Beit T’Shuvuh
.

 

    





Rick Nahmias,
Walking Mediatation,
Buddhadharma Sangha
.

 

Rick Nahmias,
Guru Ma Jaya,
Kashi Ashram
.

Rick Nahmias,
Indian Boys,
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
.

Rick Nahmias,
Cham Men Pray,
Cham Muslims
.

Rick Nahmias,
Sunday School, Friendship Baptist Church
.

Spring 2014

Table of contents

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Américas cuisine

Telling a delicious tale of food and family with chef David Cordúa ’04.

Lessons from the field

Taut and tranquil moments in Afghanistan—an essay in words and images.

Mission Matters

Carried with compassion

The Dalai Lama’s first visit to Santa Clara.

Farther afield

Building safer houses in Ecuador. Research on capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. Helping empower girls in The Gambia. And this is just the beginning for the Johnson Scholars Program.

What connects us

The annual State of the University address, including some fabulous news for the arts and humanities. And the announcement of Santa Clara 2020, a new vision for the University.