Holding Court: A Portrait Series by Barnabas Crosby on View at Brooklyn Public Library Central 5/1-5/29

On View: May 1st - May 29th, 2022
at BPL Central Library | 10 Grand Army Plaza 

FREE Meet The Artist & Opening Exhibition: May 4th 5pm - 6:30pm

Our Photo Urbanism Fellow Barnabas Crosby's "Holding Court" is a portrait series about the “re-imagination” of Black entrepreneurship and community spaces. This exhibition redefines traditional portrait-making by utilizing a handball court as a backdrop. 

Limited by costs and social distancing requirements, COVID-19 proposed a challenge to Barnabas and fellow business owners. In response to this challenge, many entrepreneurs created innovative uses of public space to continue operating their businesses and serve their communities. Over the course of six months, Barnabas repurposed his neighborhood handball court as a photography studio. He invited local business owners to sit and join him in this exercise of “re-imagination.” The images in the series portray Black entrepreneurs with the intention of making room for play through reimagined settings and reimagined identities. Holding Court is a depiction of the resilience and ingenuity of entrepreneurs and the power of public space.

In celebration of Holding Court's opening week, Barnabas Crosby will be available to talk about his work and the inspiration behind the exhibition. Stop by the library on May 4th from 5 - 6:30 pm to view the exhibition and meet the artist.

Founded in 2001, our Photo Urbanism program offers fellowships to local photographers to create a new body of work illuminating the public spaces of NYC. The photographer’s artistic vision brings a new perspective, informing and illuminating the potential of our city’s undiscovered and under-used public spaces.

This year's photo urbanism fellow Barnabas Crosby, is documenting how small businesses are leveraging and using public spaces in new and innovative ways. 
This Photo Urbanism project is funded by NYC DCLA, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Learn more at

Attend This Event

Date and Time

Sunday, May 01, 2022 – Sunday, May 29, 2022


Brooklyn Public Library Central


  • 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238