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Nicole's very first interview for "Fear Into Fire" with Chicagoist Tony Peregin

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At first glance the title of a new exhibit at Columbia College, Fear into Fire, for all its alliterative bounce, doesn’t quite seem to mesh with its subtitle: Reclaiming Black Male Identity Through the Art of Tattooing. In fact, it does—especially when you listen to Nicole Harrison, the exhibit’s 25-year-old curator, describe “fear” as representing the challenges black youth face and “fire” representing the strength it takes to overcome those challenges.

The photographs in this collection explore the connection between the black male body and skin art as they work in tandem to shape culture, influence personal identity, and create lasting bonds within the community.

Columbia College alumnus Harrison chatted with Chicagoist about the exhibit and what it was like to curate her first show.