Barnabas Crosby: Holding Court

Central Library
2nd floor Balcony Cases
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 Central Library on May 4th from 5 - 6:30 pm to view the exhibition on the 2nd Floor Balcony and meet the artist.
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.

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Design Trust for Public Space and their Photo Urbanism program. The Photo Urbanism program offers fellowships to local photographers to create a new body of work illuminating the public spaces of NYC. For more information visit

About the Artist

Barnabas Crosby is a Brooklyn-based educator, visual storyteller, and native of Cleveland, OH. In 2010, Barnabas started Whiskey Boys Ent., a storytelling vehicle to share stories of Everyday Black Living through black and white stills and moving picture. Trained as a playwright and dramaturg, Barnabas uses education, art, and media to teach young people how to craft their individual and cultural narratives.

About The Design Trust for Public Space

The Design Trust for Public Space is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the future of public space in New York City. Our projects bring together city agencies, community groups, and private sector experts to make a lasting impact–through design–on how New Yorkers live, work, and play. For more information visit



Preview the Exhibit