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Phoenix Art Museum Presents Stephen Marc: Passage on the Underground Railroad

Through digital collages of photographs, historical documents, iconography, and ephemera, Stephen Marc tells stories of the Underground Railroad.

Marc's known as a pioneer in his medium, which includes combining images and text to re-create sites and stories of African American life.

Marc's based in Phoenix, where his work is currently on view at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 North Central Avenue. His latest exhibition in the museum's Norton Photography Gallery is "Passage on the Underground Railroad," on view through Sunday, September 23.

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In it, Marc traces the history of slaves' secretive pathway to freedom. To create it, he spent more than a decade traveling to 32 states and collecting portraits, stories, songs, and snapshots. Then he layered the imagery to create what he calls "digital documentary montages."

"While investigating the Underground Railroad, I became committed to learning about southern culture and heritage, from slavery through the civil rights struggle," he writes. "My family connections to Mississippi and Arkansas play an important role in this interest. I have documented numerous historical sites, documents and other remnants, along with pertinent contemporary cultural references. These images are woven together digitally to create narratives that reconfigure time and space, generating insightful juxtapositions and commentary."

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