Nueva Luz Digital Study Center

Founded in 1974 as a non-profit organization supporting contemporary fine art and documentary photographers of underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, En Foco sought to make the work of these artists visible to the art world. En Foco’s archives go back to its founding and continue to grow each year with new programs. Few, if any, institutions have produced the amount of qualitative data that En Foco has amassed for the community of Latinx and other photographers of color.

The Nueva Luz Study Center, which contains the entire collection of digitized issues of Nueva luz dating back to 1985, the permanent collection catalog, and access to En Foco’s developing online archival database, makes the digital archives easily accessible to people who are interested in finding out about diverse communities of artists of color and how their concerns have grown over five decades.

The Study Center can be used to access more information about the artists and writers who have been published in Nueva Luz, like Dawoud Bey, Sophie Rivera, Hank Willis Thomas, Dulce Pinzón, Carrie Mae Weems, Adál, Héctor Méndez Caratini, and many others. In addition, Over 300 artists have had their work presented through its pages to date and the timely content that each issue presents. To date, all Nueva Luz issues are digitized and the records of over 450 artists and writers affiliated with Nueva Luz are entered into the database.

In 2017, we realized the urgency to catalog and digitize the rich holdings of photography, ephemera, and source material that has documented cultural output through times of change. The Nueva Luz Study Center makes this vital community archive accessible to a broad public of artists, curators, directors, educators, scholars, and writers.

The En Foco Archives are an ongoing endeavor that requires continual attention to keep it broadly accessible. En Foco’s Permanent Collection of photographs that were donated by artists since the 1970s are being digitized. Exhibition posters, cards and booklets, slides and other related documents are being cataloged and will be digitized in the future. Plans are underway to feature the archives in En Foco’s programming through residencies and exhibitions that use the archives as a source.

Plans are underway to launch the Study Center in January 2023.  There will be a searchable database to access artists featured in Nueva Luz.  Former Photography Fellow Aaron Turner is working on a commission that utilizes the digital archives that will be realized this winter.  Programming that activates the archives will be announced as well. 

An information presentation for Nueva Luz artists is scheduled for Friday, September 30 at 1PM here’s a link to sign up for the session.  Or Watch the recording of the session here.

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