Atlanta Celebrates Photography

Silver Living Legacies Extraordinaire: Women of Distinction
Phases I, II, and III

Exhibition Location:
Auburn Avenue Research Library
101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303

Artist Statement

To all the great women of Atlanta, GA. that are still here living life, to all those who have passed over and all those yet to be born; I Love, Honor, Celebrate and Respect You All, my dear “Queen Shero’s”. The motivation for this SLLEWD Photographic Exhibition and future Photography Book release, comes from a place of Healing, Love, Caring, Trust and Cherishing. The very first teacher of Love, Courage and Strength in my life, was my Queen.

The passing of my Mother in July of 2017 changed the course of my life yet again. You see my Mother, Mrs. Parlean Sheriff Sr., was a gentle, quiet storm; a great woman whose story was never told. I’m making sure that all the influential women whose paths I have crossed and those who have touched and influenced my life in some way, can tell their own stories. As a woman, wife, mother and professional, I see these women in all their grandeur, greatness and glory, with their pride, honor and dignity still intact. I know that I love, respect and treasure them, as I do my Mother and self.

It saddens me to know, that so many of our Queen Shero’s have been unsung, un-treasured and unappreciated. Therefore, armed with the “Lord of the World” and my professional Nikon camera, it gives me enormous pleasure, sincere humility, great delight and humongous courage to congratulate our Queen Shero’s in this series, The “Silver Living Legacies Extraordinaire: Women of Distinction”. These Queen Shero’s of Atlanta, Georgia, have opened many doors and will be recognized in history for many generations to come.

Phase I

(2019 - 2020)

Listen to Nafisa Valita Sheriff's interview:

Kiplyn Primus talks with Nafisa Valita Sheriff, Photographic Artist, on WCLK’s The Local Take

In November 2019 on WCLK's The Local Take , Kiplyn Primus spoke with Nafisa Valita Sheriff, the photographer and creative force behind the The Silver Living Legacies Extraordinaire: Women of Distinction Photographic Art Exhibit that completed Phase I of exhibits and is launching Phase II in mid 2021. The exhibit is  at the Auburn Avenue Research Library.

Nafisa Valita Sheriff
Nafisa Valita Sheriff, Photographic Artist

Primus asked Ms. Sheriff how this project came to be and she shares that her desire to curate these photographs started over 10 years ago and was interrupted when her mother became sick. While caring for her mom, she was encouraged more to do the project. After her mother passed she allowed herself to grieve and then began to focus on this labor of love.

She talks about the generation of women with "silver" in their hair, who survived Jim Crow, the cruelty of segregation and racism to become pioneers. From Xernona Clayton and Monica Pearson to Mayor Patsy Jo Hilliard and Mayor Shirley Franklin, she explains that these women who are still living have wisdom to share with the rest of us.  The exhibition will be turned into a coffee table book and additional photographs are still being captured.

Nafisa Valita Sheriff shares that once she began to focus on her passion, the universe conspired to make her project grow beyond the exhibition.  There was an Artist Reception in October 2019 which will included the 24 women who are continuing to make a difference in our community. Also, there was an artist talk in October and a closing reception for Phase I in December 2019.

You are encouraged to attend the exhibition and bring young people so that they can learn about the wisdom of their elders.

Silver Living Legacies Extraordinaire: Women of Distinction

Take a virtual tour of the exhibition, Phase I.

Billye Suber Aaron
Densua Abayoni-Williams
Henrietta Antoinin
Kathleen Jackson-Bertrand
Jamila Canady
Xernona Clayton
Joyce Coleman-Edwards
Dr. Leah Creque Harris
Cheryl D’Amato
Leona Barr-Davenport
Dr. Doris Derby
Hattie Dorsey
Mayor Shirley Franklin

Mayor Patsy Jo Hilliard
Pat Lottier
Camille Russell Love
Alice Lovelace
Mary Parker
Monica Pearson
Dr. Sakinah Y. Rasheed
Sue Ross
Janet Saboor
Nafisa Valita Sheriff
Phyllis Stephens
Rep. Able Mable Thomas
UmmSalaamah Sondra-Abdullah Zaimah

Phase II

Opening mid 2021, the exhibition will showcase the portraits in addition to lifestyle photos of these SLLEWD women. The exhibit will be located in the large gallery downstairs, in the Auburn Avenue Research Library, 101 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.

Phase III

COMING SOON 2021

The Photographic Coffee Table Book Showcasing: Nafisa Valita Sheriff's Body of Work and the Memoirs of the Silver Living Legacies Extraordinaire: Women of Distinction, Sheros.