Photos by Courtland Myles.

A local photographer’s debut exhibition draws a diverse crowd

More than 250 people, all dressed in black, packed the River Center Branch Library for  Courtland Myles’ debut exhibition, ‘No Matter What Kind of Black You Are’ on February 9.

“I was surprised to see so many people, but I was specifically surprised at the diverse crowd by the age,” Courtland says. “There were people there as young as 2 and as old as 70 observing and taking pictures next to their favorite pictures of mine.”

Courtland shared the stage with some of his closest friends and fellow artists that evening. Imani Nyree opened the showcase with a performance of an original song and Jordan Griffin, Courtland’s best friend and brother, MCed the event. The showcase featured dozens of portraits by Courtland, but also included live painting, spoken word performances and live music by Prince Chone, a renowned musician and LSU student from Mozambique, East Africa.

Just as his portraits have a signature style, Courtland highlighted his unique personality and interests with a curated selection of food for the event. “I love breakfast foods, so I had shrimp and grits with chicken and waffles as the dish,” he explains. “I also had complementary king cake (for Mardi Gras) and homemade ‘zoatmeal’ by Uzoamaka Njoku who also designed the flier for ‘No Matter What Kind of Black You Are.’ Zoatmeal is a crafty play on words because of her name.”

Calls and texts of thanks and praise came through for over a week following the show, Courtland says. “People have been so kind and so generous in making sure I receive my flowers for putting together something so beautiful and heartfelt,” he notes. “I’m humbled by it, honestly.”

To learn more about the inspiration behind Courtland Myles’ debut art exhibit ‘No Matter What Kind of Black You Are,’ check out the full story from inRegister’s February issue.