As they continue their 40th Anniversary Celebration this fall, Fulton County Arts & Culture is presenting a fabulous photography collection and inviting Fulton County families to pose for their very own portraits. From October 30 through November 14, visitors to the Southwest Arts Center Gallery will enjoy an exhibition of striking photos by renowned photographer Thomas Dorsey entitled Family: Pride, Dignity and Togetherness featuring notable Atlanta families including those of Andrew Young, Hank Aaron, Ed Spriggs and Marvin Arrington, Sr. In association with the Dorsey exhibition, during October and November, families from Fulton County can participate in Fulton Families Photo Days at six events across the county. Admission is free for the Dorsey exhibition and photo events.

“We believe the arts are essential to the social, spiritual, and intellectual health of our communities,” states Lionell Thomas, Director of Fulton County Arts & Culture.  “We’re honoring the legacy of renowned family portrait photographer Thomas Dorsey with an exhibition of his work, and we are celebrating the beauty and diversity of our own Fulton County family by inviting residents to have their portrait taken. We hope they enjoy the art and come celebrate with us!”

Thomas Dorsey exhibition Family: Pride, Dignity and Togetherness

There will be an Opening Reception on Wednesday, October 30 from 6-9 pm, and the exhibition will be on view through November 14 at the gallery at Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW, Atlanta, GA 30331. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission to the exhibition is free.

Thomas Dorsey was born in Augusta, GA, but grew up in Chicago, IL. After a four-year stint in the Air Force, he worked at the Post Office for a decade. Then he became interested in art and pursued a degree in Fine Art from the Art Institute of Chicago. He fell in love with photography which led him to start a business with his wife centered on family portraiture. During the next 32 years he made a name for himself beginning in Chicago, and then in Atlanta, by taking photos of families in their homes. The Family: Pride, Dignity and Togetherness exhibition showcases selected photos of prominent African American families from Fulton County and Chicago taken between 1978 and 2002.

“I cannot say how one should view these images, but the title reflects the positive potential of the human spirit I saw every time I was given the opportunity to trip the shutter!” – Thomas Dorsey


Fulton Families Free Photo Days  

Fulton County Arts & Culture invites Fulton families to have their family portrait taken for free this fall. In celebration of the work of Thomas Dorsey and his exhibition at Southwest Arts Center which showcases photographs of families, they have created events across the six-county districts to continue building relationships, sharing stories, and engaging directly with residents.  Below are the locations, dates and times for Fulton Families Photo Days events.

*Note families are asked to RSVP in advance for the location they will visit for their free family portrait. 

District 1 – Saturday, October 19 from 10 am – 2 pm

Johns Creek Art Center, 6290 Abbotts Bridge Road Bldg. 700, Johns Creek, GA 30097

RSVP here:  FultonFamilies.D1


District 2 – Saturday, October 26 from 10 am – 2 pm

Alpharetta Arts Center, 238 Canton Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009

RSVP here: FultonFamilies-D2


District 3 – Saturday, November 9 from 10 am – 2 pm

Abernathy Arts Center, 254 Johnson Ferry Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

RSVP here: FultonFamilies-D3


District 4 – Saturday, October 12 from 10 am – 2 pm

Helene S. Mills Senior Multipurpose Facility, 515 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

RSVP here: FultonFamilies-D4


District 5 – Saturday, November 16 from 10 am – 2 pm

ArtsXchange, 2148 Newnan Street, East Point, GA 30344

RSVP here: FultonFamilies-D5


District 6 – Saturday, November 2 from 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Fairburn Library, 60 Valley View Drive, Fairburn, GA 30213

RSVP here: FultonFamilies-D6

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