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:

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; (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:

The Art of Seeing – A Members Event

On February 18th, 2015, En Foco held a Members Only Event, The Art of Seeing at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, in collaboration with the exhibition Kamoinge + En Foco: Advancing the Frame, on view through March 26th, 2015.  This event was a great opportunity for members to share their work with each other as well as a chance to meet, inspire, and share ideas.

It was a wonderful event, and a great opportunity for our members to network and get to know the  En Foco familia. Below is a slideshow of who they are and their work – take a look and enjoy!

This video is featuring:

Michael Berges Alvarez
Jaime Permuth
Noelle Théard
George Malave
Sonia Louise Davis
Scott Bae
Joana Toro
Hye-Ryoung Min
Ni Rong
Groana Melendez
Tomiko Jones
Gabriel García Roman
Gerald Cyrus
Marina Font
Ana De Orbegoso
Jon Henry
Aubrey J. Kauffman
Elizabeth Borda
Sandra Chen Weinstein

All images in video © Copyright to the artists.

Below are a few Highlights from the evening:

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En Foco members gathered around and seeing each other’s work on the slideshow. ©Dani Cattan
photo 4
En Foco member Aubrey J. Kauffman discussing his work. @Dani Cattan
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Nueva Luz artist Gabriel Garcia Roman discussing his work. ©Dani Cattan
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En Foco member George Malave explaining his work to other members. ©Dani Cattan
photo 3
En Foco members Len Walker and Marilyn Nance at the members event, “The Art of Seeing.” ©Dani Cattan
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(Left to Right) Nueva Luz artist Gabriel Garcia Roman, New Works #18 awardee Joana Toro, Guest Andres Montoya, and En Foco member Liz Borda at the members event, “The Art of Seeing.” © Dani Cattan

Join us again soon for another Members event – be sure to follow us on, Twitter @enfoco and Instagram @enfoco_org. For the latest updates on exhibitions, news and events please sign up for our E-News located on our homepage.

Osamu James Nakagawa: The Banta Cliffs

The minute you pick up the camera you begin to lie- or tell your own truth. You make subjective judgments every step of the way- in how you light the subject, in choosing the moment of exposure, in cropping the print. It’s just a matter of how far you choose to go.

– Richard Avedon, 1967

As we all stood there listening to Osamu James Nakagawa describe the horrid yet intriguing description of the Battle of Okinawa, with his Banta series behind him, I couldn’t help but visualize the families jumping to their death from these jagged, steep and intricate cliffs. If I stared hard enough I could even begin to see their faces’ developing in Nakagawa’s incredibly razor sharp archival inkjet prints.

Osamu James Nakagawa

Osamu James Nakagawa’s series, Banta, is currently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the exhibition, After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age, on view through May 27th, 2013  and a subsection of a larger exhibition, Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop. I had the privilege to partake in a walking tour of the exhibit with Nakagawa himself, along with his New York representative, Esa Epstein from Sepia Eye, amongst others.

Nakagawa was born in 1962 in NYC later moving to Tokyo as a youth. After 15 years, he moved back to the United States to Houston, Texas. After graduating with an MFA from the University of Houston, he had his first show in New York with En Foco, titled “ Toward the Center”; as part of  En Foco’s Touring Gallery Exhibition in 1993. He has also been featured in the Nueva Luz: volume 6:3 and the commemorative issue, volume 7:2.

The exhibition, Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop and the subsection where Nakagawa is featured, After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age, is an exploration of manipulated photography. Mia Fineman, the Met’s Assistant Curator and the organizer of this exhibition, described her definition of a manipulated photograph not as staged images, but as “an image you see significantly differing from what stood in front of the camera at a single moment in time.”

During Nakagawa’s brief but informative explanation of his Banta series, he describes his trip to Okinawa, alone, in 2001. He ventured to the Peace Museum and War Memorial, located on the southern tip of Okinawa: a desolate and seemingly evacuated area of the island. There, he watched a colorchome 8mm film of people running and jumping off the banta – the steep cliffs.

That footage was from the Battle of Okinawa, where 200, 000 people died – 100,000 of those deaths were civilians, and many faced their last moments jumping off the exact cliffs Nakagawa saw in the film and later photographed. He walked out of the museum, saw the blue sky and then started seeing the images he had seen in the film – he could only try and imagine what had gone wrong there.

Osamu James Nakagawa in from of his Banta series.

Nakagawa then explains his process of stitching together multiple vertical images to create single vivid and sharp depictions of these cliffs, all the while subconsciously creating images that reflected the style of Japanese scroll paintings.  As he desaturated the colors he began seeing images within the cliffs, such as faces and spirits.

Osamu James Nakagawa explaining his developing process.

During the time of this series, the Japanese government decided to remove the Battle of Okinawa from their history books – essentially erasing this tramuatic and crucial turning point in Okinawan history. The mass suicides of entire families and communities of Okinawa were being dissolved by the Japanese government.

Banta, 2008. Archival inkjet print mounted on aluminum board , 20" X 60"   ©James Nakagawa
Banta, 2008. Archival inkjet print on aluminum board, 20″ X 60″ © Osamu James Nakagawa

Nakagawa’s Banta series is a visually and aesthetically impressive body of work; he captures a moment in time that is unknown to many, and provides space to begin the process of reclaiming Okinawan history.

For more information on the Banta series, please check out Nakagawa’s website.

After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age
September 25, 2012—May 27, 2013
Featuring Osamu James Nakagawa, Kelli Connell, Nancy Davenport, Craig Kalpakjian, Beate Gütschow, Matthew Jensen, Maria Marshall, and others.


Excluded Histories: A Visual Exploration of Identity over the last 40 Years

Since 1974, En Foco has been dedicated to promoting cultural diversity in the field of photography. While its efforts were originally focused on Latin@s* in New York, En Foco soon expanded its mission to include photographers of African and Asian heritage in the United States and Native Peoples of the Americas and the Pacific.

Over the last 38 years, En Foco has acquired nearly 700 prints from many of the photographers who have taken part in the programs En Foco offers. These prints encompass a variety of subject matter, points of view and photographic styles. Many have historically been excluded from mainstream institutions, such as museums, galleries and in academic settings for a variety of reasons, including structural and institutional racism.

Featured artists such as Adál and Charles Biasiny-Rivera dissect the intricacies of their Latin@ identity through their photographs, while Lola Flash deconstructs racism, sexism, and homophobia through her compelling portraiture. The exploration of identity becomes a critical guide for the inner-workings of an external perception of self and the construction of a contemporary artistic community.

Adál, Conceptual Jibaro Art, 1990.  **
Charles Biasiny-Rivera, Child God, 1998. **
Lola Flash, Kinky D, [sur]passing series, 2003.  **

Some of the earliest work in the collection is primarily represented in a documentary style of photography that emerged during and directly after the civil rights era. This work is the transition between outsider’s cultural representation/interpretation of inner-city life of Latin@s and African Americans to a form of self-representation, as the emerging photographers were those living and understanding the complexities of life in these neighborhoods. These photographers became a crucial aspect in the political and social movements of the time. One example of this earlier work is Louis Carlos Bernal‘s Dos Mujeres, Familia Lopez 1978. Louis Carlos Bernal captures the souls of the Mexican American communities of the Southwest.

Louis Carlos Bernal, Dos Mujeres, Familia Lopez 1978.

The second part of the collection and exhibition is the beginning of the 1990’s when a multicultural discourse is set in place. These photographs and photographers span multiple cultural and ethnic voices, promoting an inclusive nature to En Foco as well as a safe space for artists who have historically been excluded from this medium’s history.

The photographs that stem from the beginning of the 1990’s to present day explore in-depth discourses surrounding otherness, identity and socially constructed ideologies of self. For example, Gerald Cyrus, Los Angeles born, moved to NYC and began photographing on the streets of Harlem capturing a vibrant music scene that reflected the rich cultural discourse of the 1990’s. He brought the jazz scene in African American communities to the visual forefront of America, creating impeccable and nostalgic photographs. His work not only included the musicians but the dancers, bartenders, barflys, hustlers, lovers and others that were prominently part of the jazz scene as well. His photograph, St. Nick’s Pub, Harlem, 1995, is a perfect example of the eclectic community members and scenes he captured.

Gerald Cyrus, St. Nicks Pub, Harlem, 1995.  **

The final part of the exhibition examines the more contemporary works of art from 2000 to the present day. The contemporary work in this collection is not only that of the digital era, but these pieces of work are critical of the contemporary art scene and explicit in their visual analysis of their cultural histories today. Terry Boddie’s series, Residue of Memory 2000/2007, is an investigation of the relationship between documented memory and individual and personal memory in the Caribbean. The juxtaposition of the black and white photograph with the bright yellow hues in the piece, School Days**, reflects the tension between both kinds of memory as well as history and myth, and remembering versus forgetting.

Ana de Orbegoso’s series, Urban Virgins, is, as quoted in her artist statement, “ [a culmination of] colonial paintings, revised and reinvented to reflect contemporary realities and ideals”. Her photograph, La Virgin del Norte, is an example of the transformation from analog photography to digital photography. Here, Orbegoso provides a visual confrontation of colonialism and the transformation of art as propaganda to convey a different message then the Spanish colonizers originally intended with their religious paintings in Peru. Orbegoso re-establishes these images as ones that strengthen the value of Peruvian women, instead of imposing and binding western religion, stereotypes and ideas onto them.

Each and every one of these photographers have not only created visually stimulating pieces of artwork, but they have challenged us to alter our preconceived notions of belonging and speculative spaces, inspired us to embrace our multi-faceted and layered identities and to explore in-depth the discourses surrounding the misrepresentation of our histories. These prints and others by Jane Tam, Larry McNeil, Sama Alshaibi, Kunié Sugiura for example, are all extremely valued not only for the impressive and creative elements but for the resonance of power and state of reflection they so generously provide.

Please join us for the Opening reception at Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art on Thursday June 28th, 2012 from 6-9pm. We are so lucky to have this inspiring exhibition so close to New York City where many of these artists reside! For the full list of artists in the exhibition, click here.

There will also be a Curatorial Panel on July 10th featuring Deborah Willis, Curator, Educator, Photo Historian; Brendan Wattenberg, curator at the Walther Collection; Elizabeth Ferrer, Curator of En Foco/In Focus and Director of Visual Arts at BRIC/Rotunda Gallery;  and Miriam Romais, En Foco Executive Director.

And an Artist Talk on July 17th featuring Terry Boddie, Lola Flash, and Samantha Box.

Both the Curatorial Panel and Artist Talk will also be held at Aljira, A Center for Contemporary Art, 591 Broad Street, Newark, NJ 07102.

Terry Boddie, School Days, 2000/2007.  **
Ana De Orbegoso, La Virgin Del Norte.  **

*The “@” symbol is used in order to create gender inclusivity in this context.

** This print, or a similar one by this artist, is available as part of En Foco’s Print Collectors Program.

Christine Nguyen

In support of this year’s New Works Photography Fellowship Award Exhibition and to share the work of this year’s photographers with the online community, En Foco partners with juror Michael Mazzeo to highlight their work in a series of blog posts. Exhibition catalog is available, and includes all the work in the exhibition.

Blog post 4 of 5.

Christine Nguyen creates otherworldly ecosystems of her own evolutionary design. In them, marine life extends to the heavens, matter transcends physical form, and organisms generate visible energy to shape a vast network of interconnectedness. Borrowing from scientific imagery, she re-invents intricate systems to build a framework for a new cosmology.

In a fusion of processes, Nguyen uses cyanotypes, photograms, chromogenic and digital prints–some from hand-painted negatives, others overgrown with salt crystals. Most of the work consists of combined prints, with the largest assemblage containing more than one hundred images and measuring twenty-one by fifty feet. Her imaginative environments do not represent life as we know it. Though favoring the blues and greens suggestive of earthly oceans, Nguyen’s phantasmagorical imagery places us clearly in an alternate reality. Envisioned from both molecular and empyrean vantage points, her amorphous entities and volatile synapses combine to form a plethora of possibilities.

At a time of increasing skepticism, and even denial, of science, Nguyen’s metaphysical imagery gives us reason to carefully consider the causes and effects of environmental change and ultimately, the fate of our world.

Though we have become increasingly desensitized by pervasive images of human suffering, Perry’s adoption of an antiquarian process imbues the work with romanticism and nostalgia, leaving the viewer unguarded and allowing space for unexpected emotional responses. By recontextualizing these images, she hopes to bring a renewed scrutiny to a horrific situation and inspire urgently needed change to a disadvantaged society.

–Michael Mazzeo, Guest Juror, New Works #15

© Christine Nguyen, Cosmic Sparks, 2012

Christine Nguyen is the recipient of En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards, an annual program selecting three or more U.S. based photographers of Latino, African or Asian heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and Pacific, through a national call for entries. The New Works program helps artists to create or complete an in-depth photographic series exploring themes of their choice, and provides the infrastructure needed for national visibility and a professional exhibition of their new work in the New York area. More about her at her En Foco Photographers page and her website

Christine’s work is on view as part of New Works #15, at Calumet Photographic in Manhattan, through June 23, 2012. Please join us Thursday, June 14, 6-8 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, June 16, 2-3:30 pm for the artist talk.

Michael Mazzeo is a gallerist, educator and photographer based in New York City. He serves on the faculties of the School of Visual Arts, the International Center of Photography, New Jersey City University, and has been a guest lecturer at other prestigious institutions. He has been a featured portfolio reviewer at Fotofest, Review Santa Fe, Photolucida, Critical Mass, FotoWeek DC, The Center of Photography at Woodstock, ICP, ASMP, SPE, powerHouse Books, and Atlanta Celebrates Photography.

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Rona Chang: Moving Forward, Standing Still

In support of this year’s New Works Photography Fellowship Award Exhibition and to share the work of this year’s photographers with the online community, En Foco partners with juror and creator Andy Adams to highlight their work in a series of  blog posts. For more information, preview the exhibition catalog. Part 3 of 5.


Play, Lensvik, Norway, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2010 © Rona Chang

The world moves forward at a dizzying pace, each of us audience to the moments that materialize before our eyes. One of the pleasures of photography is its power to pause time, to create a memory of something before it disappears. For the past 10 years, fellowship winner Rona Chang has been making photographs of her travels with an attentive eye on human interaction with the natural world. Chang’s Moving Forward, Standing Still is an ongoing series of landscapes that explores themes of architectural infrastructure, urban sprawl, and industrial activity. Like a street photographer, she waits for moments to fill the frame, capturing commonplace glimpses of the everyday: workers repairing the Colosseum in Macau, swimmers playing in a spring pool in the mountains of Oaxaca, an outdoor shaving business on the river banks of Wuhan. Observing from a space outside the focus of activity, Chang’s photographs reflect a unique combination of conceptual order and practical chaos. Though sometimes appearing staged, her careful compositions are entirely improvised, recalling classical paintings. Chang’s pictures bear witness to her experience as a traveler and remind each of us—no matter our time and place in the world—to be still for a moment of quiet reflection.


Gambling, Yulong River, Guangzhou, China, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2006 © Rona Chang


Coal Shack, Yangtze River, China, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2006 © Rona Chang


Kite Siblings, Cholula, Mexico, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2010 © Rona Chang


Men Working, TGDP, Yichang, China, Moving Forward, Standing Still series, 2006 © Rona Chang

Rona Chang is the recipient of En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards, an annual program selecting three or more U.S. based photographers of Latino, African or Asian heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and Pacific, through a national call for entries. The New Works program helps artists to create or complete an in-depth photographic series exploring themes of their choice, and provides the infrastructure needed for national visibility and a professional exhibition of their new work in the New York area. More about her on her En Foco Photographers page and at

Rona’s work is on view as part of New Works #14, at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Skylight Gallery in Brooklyn, through July 1, 2011. Please join us Thursday, April 28, 6-8 pm for the opening reception and Saturday, April 30, 2-4 pm for the artist talk. Rona will also lead the Photographing Your Neighborhood workshop for youth on Saturday, May 7, 1-3 pm. All events are free and open to the public.

Andy Adams is the founder and editor of, a contemporary photography website that celebrates the culture of image-making by promoting the discovery of artists from around the world. An online art space + photography publication, the site provides opportunities for a global community of artists and photo organizations to share new series work, book projects, and gallery exhibitions with a web-based photography audience. More about him at