At the early stage of my photographic development, I wanted to improve my skills as a photographer. Prospect Park, with its 585 acres, became the ideal place for me to practice. For the past 41 years, I have devoted a substantial amount of time to photographing various aspects of the park. Armed with my Canon AE1 35mm, loaded with black and white film, I started photographing the vast landscape. As my skills improved, I started making environmental portraits of people I would meet along the way—using a combination of color and black and white film.
To date, I have photographed a number of locations during my career as a photographer. Yet I can honestly say that my work centered on Prospect Park is both my largest and one of my very favorite series. – Jamel Shabazz
Celebrating the start of the restoration process for the Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park, Photoville is proud to partner with the Prospect Park Alliance to present legendary photographer Jamel Shabazz’s vision of his “Oasis in Brooklyn.” Across 41 years of photographing in Prospect Park, Shabazz has captured reunion picnics, musicians, races, dog walks, and so much more. Exhibited along the construction fence surrounding the historic house, the community of Brooklyn will be able to discover new stories, and recognize old friends.
Jamel Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At 15, he picked up his first camera and started to document his peers. In 1980, he embarked on a mission to extensively document New York City, from youth culture to a wide range of social conditions.
Shabazz says his goal is to contribute to the preservation of world history and culture. He has worked with a wide range of organizations centered on inspiring young people in the field of photography and social responsibility. He has been a teaching artist with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the Bronx Museum’s Teen Council youth program, the International Center of Photography, Friends of the Island Academy, and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Expanding the Walls Project.
Shabazz is the author of 5 monographs. He is presently working on a new book, The Book of Life.
Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in the mid-19th century, Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s flagship park — welcoming more than 10 million visits each year.
Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains “Brooklyn’s Backyard,” working in partnership with the city of New York. The Alliance was founded in 1987 to help restore the park after a long period of deterioration and decline. Today, the Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. The Alliance cares for the woodlands and natural areas, restores the park’s buildings and landscapes, creates innovative park destinations, and provides free or low-cost volunteer, education, and recreation programs.
Today, Prospect Park is an international model for the care of urban parks, and one of the premier green spaces in the United States.
Photoville is a New York-based non-profit organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increased access to the art of photography and visual storytelling by producing a free annual festival, amplifying impactful narratives, and connecting artists to a wide global audience by activating accessible public spaces via large scale exhibitions.
Proudly devoted to cultivating strategic partnerships and creative collaborations with community spirit, UPI approaches its mission of cultivating a wide, diverse audience for powerful photographic narratives by working closely with visual artists, city agencies, nonprofit organizations and educators worldwide to create new exhibition and public art opportunities that showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography. For more information about Photoville visit, www.photoville.com
Prospect Park: My Oasis In Brooklyn
Featuring: Jamel ShabazzView Location Details Number 45 on the official photoville map Click to download this year's map Lefferts House, Prospect Park
452 Flatbush Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Location open 24 hours
Walking Curated Tour Of Prospect Park: My Oasis In Brooklyn
Across 41 years of photographing in Prospect Park, Jamel Shabazz has captured reunion picnics, musicians, races, dog walks, and so much more in the beloved park he calls his “Oasis in Brooklyn.”Learn More
An Afternoon with Jamel Shabazz
Acclaimed photographer Jamel Shabazz will discuss his career, including how his art has evolved, how he has been able to balance his commercial and his personal work and the lessons he’s learned along the way.Learn More