Blue Sky Gallery & En Foco partner to provide solo exhibitions at Blue Sky Galleries for En Foco Fellowship Award Winners, Daesha Devón Harris and Cinthya Santos-Briones!

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This June 2018, photographers Cinthya Santos-Briones and Daesha Devón ​Harris will each present solo exhibitions at Blue Sky Gallery as the first winners of the En Foco Photography Fellowship Exhibition Prize at Blue Sky. The Exhibition Prize is a collaboration between the two organizations which will bring increased visibility to En Foco and its Photography Fellowship program, and will expand the diversity of artists shown at Blue Sky. As part of the exhibition, the photographers and members of the En Foco staff will visit and speak about their work. The exhibitions will be on view June 7 – July 1, 2018.

En Foco Photography Fellowship is designed to support photographers of color who demonstrate the highest quality of work as determined by a photography panel of peers and industry professionals. Since its inception, En Foco received over 300 submissions and only open to New York City and State residents. Photography Fellowship winners are awarded $1,000 each; participate in a group exhibition; featured in En Foco’s ​Nueva Luz publication, in printed and online editions; and provide professional development and networking opportunities.

Blue Sky Executive Director Lisa DeGrace comments, “Having spent many an hour pouring through En Foco’s website and magazine (​Nueva Luz), we are thrilled to be in active collaboration with En Foco. En Foco consistently showcases and supports the best contemporary emerging photographers, and so we are excited to offer two of these artists their first solo exhibitions on the West Coast. ”En Foco Director of Programs Layza Garcia says, “We are very excited about this new collaborative partnership with Blue Sky Gallery. This is an amazing opportunity to expose underserved photographers of color to communities who normally wouldn’t recognize them. We, at En Foco, strive to provide support and advocate for the voiceless.”

About the Artists

Cinthya Santos-Briones: Before becoming a documentary photographer, Santos-Briones studied anthropology and history, which led her to work as a researcher in institutions in Mexico focused on the study of indigenous and rural communities. Her work as a photographer is centered on community, migration, gender, identity, and the struggle for human rights. Cinthya is a recent graduate of the Visual Journalism And Documentary Practice Program at the International Center Of Photography in New York City. In the autumn of 2016 she received a fellowship granted by the Magnum Foundation. Her exhibition, ​Abuelas: Portraits of the Invisible Grandmothers, honors the culture and experiences of undocumented Mexican grandmothers, while exploring the women’s relationships with their environments and their identities.

Daesha Devón Harris ​is a Saratoga Springs, New York native, artist and photographer who has spent time in Buffalo, NY and San Francisco, CA. Both her multi-cultural family and the unexpected death of her young father have greatly shaped her life. She holds a BFA in Studio Art from the College Of Saint Rose and a MFA in Visual Art from The University at Buffalo. Harris has been featured in numerous exhibitions in New York State, Philadelphia, PA, Louisville, CO, and beyond. Her exhibition, ​My Soul Has Grown Deep like the Rivers, uses the visual language of African American folklore along with personal and cultural histories to re-examine the current and historical discourse on race and the ongoing struggle for freedom.

About Blue Sky

Blue Sky, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts,​ is an exhibition space and resource center for artists, the general public, and the national and international photographic communities, located in the historic DeSoto Building in Portland, OR, on the east side of the North Park Blocks between NW Davis and Couch Streets.​ ​Blue Sky’s mission has remained steadfast since 1975: to educate the public about photography through exhibitions, publications, and dialogue; and to further the careers and artistic development of the artists shown.