Photographer’s exhibit focuses on Lincolnville


Flagler College and the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum have announced St. Augustine-based photographer Lenny Foster’s upcoming exhibition, “In the Spirit of Lincolnville,” which will include a selection of the artist’s photographs that celebrate the history and culture of St. Augustine’s Historic Black neighborhood, Lincolnville.

Foster will give a walkthrough of the exhibition at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, in the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum, 48 Sevilla St. in downtown St. Augustine, followed by an opening reception until 8 p.m., in conjunction with First Friday Art Walk. This event is free and open to the public.

The exhibition will be on display Oct. 30 to Dec. 2.

Over the last several years, Foster’s engagement with Black historical sites in St. Augustine, as well as members of the Black community, have formed the basis for several growing bodies of work.

His research is evident in the series “Where We Stand,” “Porch Portraits” and “Where Dreams Became Memories,” the content of which touches on topics from Spain’s colonization of the area in the 16th century to the establishment of Fort Mose in 1738, the first legally sanctioned free Black town in the present-day United States, to more common sites that mark significance in the long history of Lincolnville.

The bodies of work he has produced have not only informed an understanding of his own African-American heritage but have expanded his understanding of the resilience and vibrancy of St. Augustine’s longstanding Black community, from the colonial period through Jim Crow and Civil Rights up until the present day.

Paying homage to this community, the artist calls attention to the people, architecture and notable events that transpired along the streets of Lincolnville. Founded in 1866 by formerly enslaved people, the township has long been a prominent historically Black neighborhood. “Where Dreams Became Memories” features structures of architectural importance to the area, and “Where We Stand” marks sites where significant events have occurred. While “Porch Portraits” include photographs of long time Black residents of Lincolnville, each of whom have experienced our rapidly changing city over the past half-century. The works included in this exhibition are part legacy and part preservation and reflect Foster’s vested interest in preserving the lives and legacy of Lincolnville.

Foster is a photographer who has owned and operated a gallery in both Taos, New Mexico, and St. Augustine since 1998. The artist has exhibited at venues throughout the U.S., including The Harwood Museum of Art, Taos Art Museum, Albuquerque Museum and the Hubbard Museum of the American West. His work is a part of the permanent collections of The Harwood Museum, The Millicent Rogers Museum, The Muhammed Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and The Ross Museum at Ohio Wesleyan University, The Snite Museum at The University of Notre Dame and most recently at The Lincolnville Museum and Cultural center in St. Augustine.

He lives and works in St. Augustine.