‘Ten Japanese-American Concentration Camps’ exhibit to open at Rosa Parks Museum Oct. 14

"Ten Japanese-American Concentration Camps," an exhibit by Renee Billingslea will open with a reception on Oct. 14 at the Rosa Parks Museum.

An exhibit of historical and present-day photographs examining the impact of Executive Order 9066 on Japanese Americans during World War II and beyond will open at Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum on Oct. 14.

An opening reception for the exhibit, “Ten Japanese-American Concentration Campus” by artist Renee Billingslea, will begin at 6 p.m. in the museum’s gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

Issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 authorized the incarceration of Japanese Americans in isolation camps in the western United States during World War II. More than 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry were deported or incarcerated as a result of the order.

Renee Billingslea

The exhibit, which debuted in 2020 at the Triton Museum, is a photography project that examines the land, the scars and marks on the land that still exist today and the historical impact on the Japanese-American citizens imprisoned during this time and the trauma of the experience that has been passed on to other generations.

“Renee Billingslea’s exhibit is a stark reminder that our history has shaped who we are as individuals and as a country in 2021,” said Madeline Burkhardt, the museum’s Adult Education Coordinator. “Her meshing of old photographs with present day images allows viewers to examine our past in ways that would not be possible by viewing historical photos alone.”

Billingslea is a visual artist whose artwork addresses deep issues of race, racial violence, trauma and white privilege. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Southern Oregon State University and a Masters of Fine Art from San Jose State University. She currently serves as a senior lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History at Santa Clara University where she teaches photography.

Billingslea will be in attendance at the Oct. 14 reception to answer any questions and explain her artistic process. Light refreshments will be provided.

For additional information, contact Burkhardt at 334-241-8701 or by email at mburkhardt@troy.edu.