feature: dallas photographer nicolas harris unearths the journeys of north texas creatives at ‘emergence’ exhibition

June 22, 2015

On June 11, Dallas photographer Nicolas Harris debuted an exhibition that further connected the art scene in North Texas. Though this was his first exhibition, it was hardly about focusing on his talent. This photo exhibition was about celebrating the long journeys that 26 creatives have been on who now have a voice loud enough to be heard among the millions in Dallas, Texas. “Emergence” was not just about his awakening; it was about everyone’s.

By Kim Diggs, AFROPUNK Contributor

Photo credit: Art Cash



During three sessions, Harris took photos and filmed each of his subjects. He compiled the footage into what he called “The #Emergence Vol. 1 Mini Documentary.” He played a portion of the film during his reception at 3014 Space.

“I would say my emergence was in 2011 when I was able to sustain myself off of solely my art,” said Joonbug, graphic artist and fashion designer. “It was a time when I was transitioning from working for ‘the man’ to working for myself … and actually make a living off of it.”

The running theme in each person’s narrative was a pivotal moment that inspired the career they have today.



For Rodney Blu, host of the Dallas podcast “Local Over Everything,” it was the death of his mother and the inward search to find what she found special about him. For photographer Art Cash, it was the fear he felt after quitting his job to become a full-time freelance photographer. For rapper/singer Alsace Carcione, it was her first time listening to Kurtis Blow’s “Tough.”

Some were able to give exact dates. Others only knew the year, but everyone knew the event in his or her life that sparked the new chapter they would come to share with North Texas.

“This [concept] came from a combination of a couple of different projects that I previously wanted to execute,” Harris said. “There is this project in New York called Humans of New York. I believe it’s a group of photographers who take photos of different people from New York who have a story to tell.”

After his internship in New York City, Harris decided to take things in a different direction, focusing on the artists contributing in major ways to Dallas culture.


Pictured: Nicolas Harris 



During the exhibition, guests enjoyed light refreshments, danced to the music mixed by DJ Zach Witness and later watched performances by –topicFreddy Sans and Alsace Carcione.

This exhibition is the first of many that Harris plans on putting together. He’s already decided to continue “Emergence” as a series.

“I kind of want to just take everything as it comes,” Harris said. “I want this project to evolve organically. I eventually want to go to New York. Once I make an ‘Emergence: New York,’ hopefully I can get someone big to back it. Maybe I can get the backing of Afropunk. That would be amazing. I’d like to go to Toronto and London and Amsterdam and maybe even the Himalayas and emerge with the people over there.”

In one year, he plans on relocating to New York to further his career. But, for now, he’s focused on finding new opportunities in photography and celebrating each person’s journey..


Kim Diggs is a journalist, author and public speaker from Dallas. Follow her on Twitter @kaydigs and on