Photographer and Georgia native, Tokie Rome-Taylor focuses on the notion that perception of self and belonging begins in childhood. Children are the subjects she centers within her works, with a focus on representing a visual elevation that had been omitted from mainstream “western art history”. Her works have a painterly aesthetic, using both digital and analog image making techniques. She often incorporates multiple mediums, including embroidery, pigments, beading and wax. The resulting works challenge the viewer’s expectation of what a photograph should look like.
Working in tandem with her centering of children, Rome-Taylor explores questions that stem from ethnographic and historical research. These questions probe material, spiritual, and familial culture of descents of southern slaves act as entry points for Tokie Rome-Taylor to build symbolic elements that communicate a visual language. The sitters’ family heirlooms, and recollections of family history, are combined with the historical research about the lives of Africans brought to the Americas.The research centers on their material culture, spiritual practice, and traditions. These have all been used to create a visual language that speaks to our shared history. Children and their family heirlooms, the real or imagined histories of these children’s families and their ancestors all collide to spark conversation around material wealth, familial and cultural traditions of African Americans in the South.
Rome-Taylor’s work is held in multiple private and institutional collections including the MOCA GA, The Fralin Museum at UVA, and the Southeastern Museum of Photography. She has an extensive national and international exhibition record including the Atlanta Contemporary, the Fralin Museum, The Southeastern Museum of Photography, The Griffin Museum of Photography, SP-Foto SP-Arte Fair in São Paulo, Brazil, and the Zuckerman Museum of Art, amongst others.
Rome-Taylor is a native of Atlanta, 20+ year veteran educator and working artist.