En Foco Presents The Next Generation of Bronx Photographers


En Foco proudly announces its upcoming exhibition “The Next Generation of Bronx Photographers at the Andrew Freedman Home. The exhibition highlights five Bronx-based photographers beginning Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

The artists are Melanie Gonzalez, Renell Medrano, Abigail Montes, Osjua Newton, and Gloria Zapata. The exhibition is curated by Marisol Diaz and is on view from Friday February 24 through Friday, March 24, 2017.

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 from 6-8pm
Event is open to the public. No RSVP required.

*In partnership with The Bronx Trolley Night!

Exhibition Dates:
February 24th – March 24th, 2017

Exhibition Location and Gallery Hours:
Executive Ballroom
Andrew Freedman Home
1125 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY 10452

Gallery Hours:
Monday-Friday: 10:00am-6:00pm; Saturday: By Appointment.

The Bronx Trolley is a project of the South Bronx Cultural Corridor. Making a cultural loop through the lower Grand Concourse and in other sections of the Bronx, it provides an innovative way to travel free while giving Bronxites and tourists alike the opportunity to sample several of the area’s hottest cultural attractions, dining establishments and

entertainment venues.
First Wednesdays Trolley begins at 5:00pm at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos which is located at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse & 149th Street (easily accessible by the 2, 4 & 5 trains and the BX1 & BX19 buses). The trolley departs from Hostos at 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7:30pm, making a cultural loop through the lower Grand Concourse, dropping off riders at their selected stops and picking them up at the next go-around.


This exhibition is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, aswell as the generosity of an anonymous donor.  Special thank you to the Andrew Freedman Home.

©Image by Renell Medrano, Sisters, Untitled Youth, 2014.

Call for Entries | En Foco 2017 Photography Fellowship


En Foco is currently accepting submissions for its 2017 Photography Fellowship through February 6, 2017.

En Foco, the leading arts organization serving support to photographers of color, is accepting submissions for its 2017 Photography Fellowship, designed to support photographers of color who demonstrate the highest quality of work as determined by a photography panel of peers and industry professionals. Submission Deadline is Monday, February 6, 2017 at 11:59pm. Fellowships will be announced in mid-March. Contact E-mail: fellowship@enfoco.org.

The Photography Fellowship Program will award ten Fellowships of a $1,000 each; participate in the 2017 Fellowship Group Exhibition; feature the Fellows in En Foco’s Nueva Luz publication, in printed and online editions; and provide Professional Development and Networking Opportunities. En Foco is highly regarded for its leadership in the variety of ways it supports photographers of color and for its advocacy role in addressing the issues related to the lack of cultural equity and access.

Who Can Apply: (1) Photographers of Latino, African, Asian American heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and the Pacific; (2) Must be a resident of New York City or New York State for the past year at the time of submission and must show proof of residency; (3) Must be at least 18 years of age; (4) Collaborating photographers are eligible to apply, but only one photographer can submit the application; (5) Previous winners of En Foco’s New Works Fellowship Program prior to 2014 are eligible to apply; (6) Photography for consideration must represent work completed after 2014.

Who Cannot Apply: (1) Graduate or undergraduate students matriculated in a fine art and/or photography degree program at the time of application submission; (2) En Foco’s Board members and staff are ineligible to apply.

Panel Process: The Fellowships selected are based exclusively on the excellence and quality of the work submitted. All work will be reviewed by panelists selected from a pool of photography and photography-related professions, such as photographers, curators, critics, and collectors. Each year, new panelists are chosen to ensure a fresh perspective in the fellowship review process.  En Foco’s Board of Directors will review the panel recommendations to assure the integrity of the process and formally approve the Fellowship awardees.

Award Notification: The ten Fellowship Awardees will be notified via email. The Awardees will each receive $750 dollars with the balance of $250 to be remitted at the Fellowship Awardees’ participation in their exhibition.

Submission Requirements: (1) Create an account with Submittable.com; (2) Include a written description (no more than 400 words). Describe specific aspects of your work practices such as subject matter, context, content, location and personal relevance; (3) A one-page resume and 200-word biography; (4) A 200-word artist statement about your work; (5) Five images, follow the sizing guidelines; (6) Head shot (300 dpi, jpeg only). The application form does not have to be completed in a single session. The system will save your draft application. We suggest that you save often as you fill out the form, and that you save a copy of any narrative texts. 

Support for the En Foco Photography Fellowship program has been provided by an anonymous donor with additional support by the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A special thank you to the Andrew Freedman Home.


En Foco’s Photographers Town Hall and Networking Meeting

townhallheaderEn Foco cordially invites all photographers of color, minority curators, cultural writers, and friends to attend Photographers Town Hall and Networking Meeting.

Date: Thursday February 2nd, 2017

Time: 6:00 – 8:00PM

450 Grand Concourse
Bronx, New York 10451

Purpose: Direct Funding for Photographers and Artists of Color

  •  Introduction to En Foco’s Fellowship Program for Photographers of Color
  • An overview of the current funding climate for direct support of photographers and artists of color
  • Will the new New York City Cultural Plan support artists directly?
  • Is “trickle down” funding for artists through arts organizations sufficient?
  • Alternative support models to be considered

Brief presentations will be presented on related topics.

Travel Directions:

Subway: Take the #2, #4, or #5 to 149thSt and the Grand Concourse Station
Bus: Take the #19 from 145th St (Manhattan) to 149th St & the Grand Concourse

Refreshments will be served.

To RSVP or have any questions, please email: townhall@enfoco.org

En Foco Releases Newly Designed Nueva Luz vol. 20:1 Spotlighting the Bronx Women’s Photo Collective

NL 20-1_CoverImageBronx, NY | July 2016 – Nueva Luz vol. 20:1, the revitalized and redesigned photographic journal from En Foco is now available in print and online. As with past issues of Nueva Luz, the magazine has illustrated the provocative, the avant-garde and the perspicacious photographic prognostications and philosophies from photographers of color who probe the heart of humanity through their lens.   Continue reading “En Foco Releases Newly Designed Nueva Luz vol. 20:1 Spotlighting the Bronx Women’s Photo Collective”

En Foco and SoHarlem Presents: THERE (Yankee) by Sasha Phyars-Burgess

Contact: Layza Garcia
Email address: info@enfoco.org
High-resolution images available upon request


New York, NY | June 2016 – To stand in front of one of the photographs made by emerging photographer Sasha Phyars-Burgess is to stand at the point where documentary and art collide. Continue reading “En Foco and SoHarlem Presents: THERE (Yankee) by Sasha Phyars-Burgess”

Valdir Cruz: Guarapuava

We are proud to share this blog post written by Susan Bishopric about En Foco alumni, Valdir Cruz‘s upcoming exhibition and book GUARAPUAVA at Throckmorton Fine Art. Cruz has been part of the En Foco familia for many years. His work is part of our Permanent Collection which is accompanied with a book and traveling exhibition, titled En Foco/In Focus: Selected Works from the Permanent Collection. Cruz’s is also part of our Print Collectors Program that is available for purchase. He has also been featured twice in Nueva Luz (vol. 6 #2 and vol. 12 #3).  

Valdir Cruz, Paisagem com arvores e lago, 2002,  Pigment on paper, 30 x 38 inches.
© Valdir Cruz, Paisagem com arvores e lago, 2002, Pigment on paper, 30 x 38 inches.

Valdir Cruz is a Brazilian photographer, born in 1954 in Guarapuava, the Southern State of Paraná, Brazil.  While Cruz has lived in the United States for more than thirty years, his photography has largely focused on the people, architecture and landscape of his native Brazil and the rainforests of Latin America. In 1996, Cruz was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Faces of the Rainforest, a project documenting the life of indigenous people in the Brazilian Rainforest. The Guggenheim Foundation further supported this project with a publication subvention award.

What distinguishes Valdir Cruz’s photography, is the docu-essay form of his projects which expertly tap his interest in anthropology and culture.  He has lived among the native cultures not just in Guarapuava but in many Latin American locations and through exposure to different peoples and places developed a strong documentarian eye easily discerned from the Guarapuava works on display Sept 18 – November 1 at Throckmorton Fine Art in New York.

© Valdir Cruz, Pinus Araucaria, 1992, Selenium Tones Gelatin Silver Print, 11 x 14 inches.

In his introduction to the GUARAPUAVA book that accompanies the Throckmorton exhibition, photography researcher and curator, Rubens Fernandes, Jr., says “For over thirty years, Valdir Cruz has produced regular records of Guarapuava. His images are not commonplace; many people consider that documentation of a town means looking at the urban space and photographing it through its public road and imposing buildings, but here, contrary to what one might think, it is seen as a space where different ethnicities that make up Brazil coexist – Europeans, native peoples, and Africans – whose boundaries are surrounded by exuberant waterfalls and breathtaking landscapes.  This rare initiative distinguishes this essay’s uniqueness, with an unconventional exercise in constructing memories.  Instead of a cartographic reading of streets and buildings, he chose to portray local people, local events such as cattle divers’ dislocations, and landscapes that still pulse in the imaginary created by his childhood memories.  This is a keen record of a local dweller in his own land.

“The characters portrayed are anonymous heroes who, together with landscapes and waterfalls, celebrate this visual references.  Actually, it is an inventory of emotions far removed from the power setting represented by the urban space and its buildings, similar to a family album gathering a kind of inventive story articulated through desire-rich and imaginative narrative.  Valdir Cruz is able to transform commonplace occurrences into extraordinary things by circumscribing photography as a power of personal, social, and cultural values, far from the current visual easiness.  At the Guarapuava show, this manifest desire to excel is remarkable, since, as well as synthesizing his life experience, he also extends the visibility of people and landscapes marginal to the system.”

Valdir Cruz, Tropeiro Chico, 1990, Pigment on paper, 30 x 30 inches
© Valdir Cruz, Tropeiro Chico, 1990, Pigment on paper, 30 x 30 inches.

“Guarapuava” is Throckmorton Fine Art’s sixth solo exhibition of works by the documentary-photographer, Valdir Cruz, and one that is the culmination of a thirty-year project.

Spencer Throckmorton says, “Cruz’s exquisite photographic essay on ‘Guarapuava,’ the photographer’s hometown, bears out Tolstoy’s observation that to be universal one only needs to talk about his own village. With unremitting devotion, Cruz has chronicled the lives and lifestyles of this ephemeral and evocative place. The images are the result of his close investigation of its people and landscapes.”

© Valdir Cruz, Hands, 2003, Pigment on paper, 30 x 30 inches

Among highlights – “Guarapuava” showcases a photograph entitled, “Hands” which beautifully represents the absolute wide range of black and gray tones—from delicate charcoal shades to pitch darkness—resulting in a striking composition. It is also a visual and cultural commentary of a solitary gesture that models human complexity.

For more information on the artist, please click here.


Exhibition Information:

Dates: September 18th – November 1st, 2014

Location:  Throckmorton Fine Art 
145 East 57th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10022
(212) 223-1059

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 am to 5 pm


More About Valdir Cruz:
Cruz was mentored and studied with some of the photographic world’s greatest practitioners.  First at the Germain School, and then when he received aesthetic and technical know-how working with George Tice at New York’s New School for Social Research. His talent has won him over fifty solo exhibitions since the early 80s at venues including the National Arts Club in New York, the Houston Center for Photography and FotoFest International.  His work has been acquired by private collectors as well as museums in the United States and Brazil including The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the New York Public Library, The Smithsonian Institution and the Brooklyn Museum as well as the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo.


About the Image: Sama Alshaibi

Sama Alshaibi reflects on the headdress her and her mother created together, as well as the historical influence and motivation behind the image, Headdress of the Disinherited, 2004 (published in Nueva Luz 12#1)

Portrait of the Disinherited, 2004.
Portrait of the Disinherited, 2004.

In commemoration of Al Nakba (66 years later), my mother asked me to post this older photograph of mine. I made the hat worn in this photo, in collaboration with my mother. That hat is a sculptural memorial to the exile of 800,000+ Palestinians who fled their homes due to the ensuing war when the state of Israel was created in 1948, known to Palestinians as Al Nekba.

The copper coins were once Palestinian currency and now etched with the visa stamps from my family passports. The hat references the Wuqayat al-durahem, or Smadeh , a “money hat”. This hat was historically presented to Palestinian women engaged to be married as either part of the “bride-price“ or dowry. Wedding headdresses were once an essential part of a Palestinian woman’s attire and a cherished belonging. Few headdresses remained intact after the 1948 war; Palestinian monies were no longer minted and families used the coins, one by one, to survive difficult times.

By substituting the no longer minted Palestinian currency with the markings of visas passport stamps, passport pictures and immigration/naturalization documents collected from my family in exile, I am speaking to the inheritance of an intellectual dowry, the stories of our heritage and culture, without the experience of the events that fundamentally define it.

I also am conceptually alluding to the inheritance of exile and displacement. When you belong to a people without a home, or a home that you are not allowed to reside in, your home is an idea. The hat, and the photographs, serve as a temporal and yet temporary memorial, a makeshift memorial that can be transferred, reshaped, reconstructed and re-imagined in its memory of those exiles who are in a continual state of temporary until they are allowed back to their homes in Palestine. 

–Sama Alshaibi, May 16, 2014

For those of you in love with the blending of photography and culture, subscribe to Nueva Luz HERE so it comes directly to your mailbox three times per year.

Sama’s work was published in Nueva Luz (order that issue HERE), and featured in our Touring Gallery exhibition alongside Myra Greene at Umbrella Arts in 2008.

Learn more about Sama Alshaibi here, and at www.samaalshaibi.com