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OPTICVOICES: Mama’s Boys | Opening Reception

October 22, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
980 Liberty Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 United States


OPTICVOICES: Mama’s Boys is an interactive, mixed-media exhibit that orbits the healing of mothers who have lost their sons due to systemic violence and aims to fossilize their legacy. The vessel of cinematic and provocative storytelling is captured through the galvanizing lens of Emmy Award-winning, multidisciplinary artist, Emmai Alaquiva. The kindred journeys of mothers around the world are shared through artistic love letters in the form of photography, film, mixed media and augmented reality.


12pm | Doors open

12:15pm | A Welcome by Emmai Alaquiva and Janis Burley Wilson

12:20pm | Special Guest Speaker First Lady Michelle Gainey. Mrs. Gainey to speak on youth and education. She will introduce the Teen Preview.

12:30pm – 2pm | Teen Preview (Youth & Education). Light refreshments served.

2pm – 4pm | Symposium: A Mama’s Narrative
A shared panel discussion moderated by Celeste Smith with Michelle Kenney, Lezley McSpadden, Gwen Carr, Valerie Castile and Rev. Wanda Johnson

6pm – 8pm | Public Opening Reception for OPTIC VOICES: MAMA’S BOYS. Music provided by DJ Nate Mitchell.

7pm | Special guest of the Office of Mayor Ed Gainey to read a proclamation declaring OPTICVOICES: Mama’s Boys and Emmai Alaquiva Day in the City of Pittsburgh (October 22, 2022).

OPTIC VOICES: MAMA’s BOYS is presented as part of the AWAACC B.U.I.L.D Residency made possible with support from R.K. Mellon Foundation.