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“These images I’ve created are intended to communicate why we, as black men, often don't “fly” despite possessing the ability to transcend our circumstances.”

-Rashaun Rucker


October 25 - November 16, 2019
Reception: October 25, 6 - 9 PM
Artist Talk: Saturday, November 22, 2 PM

Rashaun Rucker’s series, American Ornithology, compares the life of a creature many of us see every day — the Rock Pigeon — to the identity and, in many ways, stereotypes of black men in America. The Rock Pigeon is one of the few birds that doesn't migrate, while also being considered a strong flyer. Brought to this country by Europeans in the 1600s, they lack the migration gene, and when removed from their environment, usually return home. That sense of displacement and lack of the gene manifests itself in one of many forms of conditioning. As with black men or others from the diaspora, when taken from ones place of origin, and subsequently assigned a certain station within society, this generates a belief that you are only permissible in certain spaces designed or designated for you. You have effectively been placed in a coop. The pigeon, when taken from its environment, usually returns home because of its familiarity with that ecosystem.

Artist Statement

Press Release
Artist Page


Pi·geon·hole (verb)

To assign to a particular category or class, especially in a manner that is too rigid or exclusive.

Synonyms: categorize, compartmentalize, classify, characterize, label, brand, tag, typecast, ghettoize, designate