Golden States of Grace

Golden States of Grace

By Lindsey Kouvaris '02 and Clay Hamilton

Leslie, Women of Wisdom. Photo by Rick Nahmias.
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
.

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