Fearless, a series of portraits of “out” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes on high school and college sports teams from 2003 to present, is on display now through April 6 in the Floy Lewis Bakes Center at Ursinus College. The photographer, Jeff Sheng will discuss his work Tuesday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in Musser auditorium in Pfahler Hall. The exhibition and the visit are sponsored by the Ursinus Arts & Lecture Series.
In 2003, photographer and artist Jeff Sheng began photographing Fearless, a project on “out” LGBT athletes on high school and college sports teams. As a former athlete, Sheng found a personal resonance with the subject matter, and was interested in working on an activist art project that would speak to homophobia in sports.
In 2006, after various colleges expressed interested in having Fearless shown on their campuses, Sheng started www.FearlessCampusTour.org, a separate website and project from his other artwork, dedicated to putting exhibitions of Fearless at student centers, gyms, and other non-traditional art venues which are in highly trafficked areas.
Since then, Sheng has exhibited and spoken about Fearless at almost 40 different venues, including the 2009 LGBT Human Rights Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, the 2009 Sports and Sexuality Conference at Ithaca College, ESPN Headquarters in Bristol, CT, and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where he expanded the project to include athletes from Canada.
Sheng is an artist, photographer, and educator based in Los Angeles, California. He teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the Art Studio and the Asian American Studies departments. His photographs have been seen in the New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and the Advocate, and he is a recent winner in the 2010 Photo District News Photo Annual Competition for Best Personal Photography Series from 2009. Sheng graduated from Harvard University in 2002, magna cum laude with a BA degree in Visual and Environmental Studies (filmmaking and photography), and he received his MFA in Studio Art from the University of California, Irvine, in 2007. His studio is located near Culver City in Los Angeles. For more information about Jeff’s other projects, please visit www.jeffsheng.com