Xiomaro’s Photo Exhibit in Time For Black History Month

The Oyster Bay Historical Society will be celebrating Black History with an exhibition of The Other Side – Charles, Caesar, Harry, Sam, Pompey, Lon and Isaac, a photographic collection by New York artist Xiomáro (SEE-oh-MAH-ro). The collection will be on view from January 11 to March 29, 2015.

"Harry" © 2015 XiomaroThe Other Side features the first fine art photographs centering on a little-known burial ground believed to hold the remains of the slaves or house servants of color that worked on the William Floyd Estate in Mastic Beach, Long Island. General Floyd was a plantation owner who signed the Declaration of Independence and served with George Washington in the American Revolutionary War. His estate is now a National Park unit of Fire Island National Seashore.

The 29 photographs present a spiritual memorial to these laborers. Separated by a white wooden fence, their simple, year-less crucifixes bearing singular generic slave names are juxtaposed with the elaborate individualized tombstones of the Floyd cemetery.
A parallel theme introduces Floyd, describes the development of his estate in tandem with a nascent United States and illustrates the change in the family itself – slave ownership decreased and Floyd’s grandson joined the Union Army to fight in the Civil War. The photographs include a Civil War recruitment poster, William Floyd’s signature and other rarely seen artifacts, views of room interiors that are not part of the house tour and landscape vistas.

Xiomáro is a nationally exhibited artist from Roslyn Heights whose work has been covered by The New York Times, News 12 Long Island and The Huffington Post. The Other Side will be featured in the prestigious Aspect Ratio, a London-based photography magazine. His other National Park Service commissions include President Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill mansion, which debuted at Oyster Bay Historical Society last year before traveling to Harvard University. At present, Xiomáro is photographing the home of poet and abolitionist Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (a friend of Roslyn’s William Cullen Bryant) and will be living in a Florida swamp for a month documenting the fragile ecosystem that feeds into the Everglades.

The Other Side is on view January 11 to March 29, 2015 at Oyster Bay Historical Society, 20 Summit Street, Oyster Bay, NY 11771, (516) 922-5032, http://www.oysterbayhistorical.org. A free opening reception will be held on January 11, 2015 at from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Free artist talks are scheduled for January 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm, March 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm and March 26, 2015 at 6:30 pm. A free limited edition photo e-book can be downloaded at http://www.xiomaro.com.