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

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

NL 20-1_CoverImage

Bronx, 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.   This newly released and rebranded special issue is no different than an exploratory probe into the human psyche of inner-space.

En Foco and by extension Nueva Luz, has always sought to include and expand the parameters of visual presentation and has challenged concepts of identity for and about photographers of color.

Curated by Juanita Lanzo and designed by Nestor Otero, this edition of Nueva Luz features three dynamic Bronx Puerto Rican women photographers, Rhynna M. Santos, Sandra Ayala and Lizzy Alejandro, who form the Bronx Women’s Photo Collective, which present diverse and divergent photographic visions while challenging illusions, characterizations and misconceptions of Latina women.

First, Rhynna M. Santos captures powerful portraits of Latina women following their Islamic faith. Born in Puerto Rico, Santos shows hope and pain together with a sense that there’s an undercurrent of deeper emotion. The images go beyond words conveying a timeless resolution, feeling that God is on the side of right even though as Latina Muslim women they may face persecution, marginalization and Islamaphobia.

Second, in Sandra Ayala’s stylized photo series, she presents a young man and women facing a Christian crisis. Born in the South Bronx, Ayala’s work is full of Catholic iconography conveying the power of prayer, lighting candles and getting on one’s knees in genuflection. Her photos convey the power of religion but also the mundane expectation of miracles in every day Latino life, or the overpowering battering ram of self-righteousness from Christian leaders.

The third in these provocative photo essays is Bronx native and graduate of Lehman College, Lizzy Alejandro who explores womanhood through a sensual lens. Her images break down barriers and confront the strain of misogyny in Latino culture that still, in the 21st Century, commands what a woman should and shouldn’t do.

For more information on En Foco, please visit enfoco.org.  To subscribe to Nueva Luz online, please click here or for the printed version, please click here.  Please contact: info@enfoco.org for questions and concerns.

The Bronx Women’s Photo Collective is an organization by and for Bronx photographers with two areas of focus: activism and creativity.  We engage in activism through representing and documenting the lives, experiences and perspectives of people from and in the Bronx, centering the often disregarded voices and insights from women of color in artistic and political circles, calibrating artistic and creative spaces by and for people of color; networking with and mentoring female Bronx artists. 

 We are also dedicated to creativity by supporting each other in producing unique individual and collective works, artistically representing the Bronx, its’ people and spirit and creating a local and international platform for the creative work by female Bronx artists. Learn more at www.thebronxwomensphotocollective.com

 En Foco, Inc. supports contemporary fine art and documentary photographers of color and diverse cultures, using photography as a platform to speak on behalf of issues related to cultural equity and access. En Foco provides its photographers, curators, critics & cultural activists with forum to advocate on behalf of an inclusive cultural policy that historically has been lacking in substance. En Foco supports its constituent artists with direct and indirect funding opportunities, professional development services, curated exhibitions, publications and networking events with industry and cultural leaders. Learn more at http://www.enfoco.org and follow us on facebook.com/enfoco & twitter.com/enfoco.

Nueva Luz is made possible with a grant to En Foco from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, and En Foco members.

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. In line with the wave of photographers creating imagery from positions of marginality, Phyars-Burgess has made use of the technology of photography as a tool for self-reflexivity and self-redefinition. She has examined aspects of contemporary Trinidadian life from the vantage point of a first-generation American grounded in the culture of this distant, yet familiar nation.

The Caribbean is a region marked by centuries of coerced migration and trade. Restless descendants of the displaced, in a perpetual ode to the yearning from which they were born, relentlessly traverse ocean and sky in search of a promised land. Communities bearing island idiosyncrasies spring up on the outskirts of northern, metropolitan hubs. A new generation comes into existence with half of their understanding rooted in a place that is already proxy to another. Home seems to always be a fat, salty ocean away.


Sasha Phyars-Burgess, Angel at the Funeral from THERE (Yankee) series, 2013.

Born in Brooklyn to Trinbagonian parents, Sasha Phyars-Burgess belongs to this freshly misplaced generation. Her life contains elements as foreign to her American neighbors as they are to her Trinbagonian cousins. With her series THERE (Yankee), Phyars-Burgess has turned her camera to her secondary home, Trinidad and Tobago, in search of a reflection of herself. On the island, anyone with an American accent is called “yankee” and this was the nickname given to her by her straight-talking cousins. Although it is a part of her, Sasha still refers to Trinidad and Tobago as “there.”

With this series, she has stripped away the intoxicating colors of the Caribbean to leave us with nothing but stark, geometrical representations. She plays with the unrelenting, equatorial sunlight to cut high-contrast forms out of her chosen landscape. The folks who courageously respond to Sasha’s inquiring lens confront viewers with a version of everyday existence that will surprise those who think they know what to expect. Complexity overrides the exhausted trope of carefree islanders dwelling in a simplistic and timeless paradise. Out of gestures of play and mourning, worship and solitude, a quiet, palpable substantiality emerges.

About the Artist

Sasha Phyars-Burgess was born in Brooklyn, New York to Trinidadian parents, and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bard College in 2010 with a BA in Photography where she studied with An-My Le, Tim Davis, Barbara Ess, Michael Vahrenwald, and Larry Fink. Upon graduation she worked for Larry Fink for one year before moving to Berlin, Germany and Trinidad and Tobago. She is interested in using photography education as community empowerment and photographing the African Diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean, New York, and Pennsylvania.

 About the Curator

Mariamma Kambon was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to New York City in 2009. She holds an MFA Art (Cornell University, ’14) and a certificate in General Studies (International Center of Photography, ’10). A visual artist and cultural writer, Kambon specializes in themes of social justice, culture and identity in relation to the people of the African Diaspora.

Exhibition Location and Gallery Hours

The Mink Building
1361 Amsterdam Avenue @ West 126th Street
Third Floor – Suite 340
New York, NY 10027

Gallery Hours:
Check website for Hours: www.soharlem.org
Appointments welcomed.

The exhibition will be on view Monday, June 13 to Saturday, October 1, 2016. Opening reception is on Thursday, June 16th from 5-7:30pm.

This exhibition is made possible with a grant to En Foco from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYS Council on the Arts, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, and En Foco members.

En Foco, Inc. supports contemporary fine art and documentary photographers of color and diverse cultures, using photography as a platform to speak on behalf of issues related to cultural equity and access. En Foco provides its photographers, curators, critics & cultural activists with forum to advocate on behalf of an inclusive cultural policy that historically has been lacking in substance. En Foco supports its constituent artists with direct and indirect funding opportunities, professional development services, curated exhibitions, publications and networking events with industry and cultural leaders. Learn more at http://www.enfoco.org and follow us on facebook.com/enfoco & twitter.com/enfoco

SoHarlem, Inc. is a community-based social enterprise founded to ensure that artisans and the local community benefit from economic development in the Manhattanville Factory District.  It is dedicated to forging partnerships that contribute to transforming Manhattanville’s creative spirit, cultural economy and public spaces through mentoring, training and educational programs.


The Seen and the Unseen by Eugenia D’Ambrosio


CONTACT: Dee Campos 718.931.9311 dee@enfoco.org

Picture 1 - Eugenia

The Seen and the Unseen

Photographs by Eugenia D’Ambrosio

May 23 – July 30, 2015

on display at Harlem Library/NYPL

BRONX, NY – En Foco’s Touring Gallery Community Exhibitions program is pleased to present photographs by New York based photographer Eugenia D’Ambrosio. This exhibition and related events are free and open to the public, and school groups are welcome.

Born and raised in New York City, Eugenia D’Ambrosio grew up surrounded by the diverse and ever-changing backdrop of city living which would later establish her way of viewing the world and interpreting those experiences throughout her life. By combining her daily experiences with her family heritage in her photographic work, D’Ambrosio is able to weave a visual and very personal narrative. By including old family photographs and new conceptual imagery, D’Ambrosio fuses both her past and present, shedding light on the people, places, and experiences that formed the person and artist that she is today.

She states, “This body of work primarily investigates the issue of loss and I use photography as a means of filling-in these absences in my life– I am looking at the seen and the unseen areas to begin the process of understanding my family history.”

D’Ambrosio received her MFA from Pratt Institute and her BS from SUNY Empire State College. She currently works as a freelance photographer in the NYC area, and her work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions– including The Boiler Room and The Rubelle & Norman Schaffer Gallery in Brooklyn, and at the Hudson Gallery in Manhattan.

For additional information, imagery or interviews, please contact Dee Campos at the above number or email.

Location:  En Foco at Harlem Library / NYPL

                  9 West 124th Street, New York, NY 10027 t. 212.870.1810

Artist Talk: Saturday, July 18, 2015 from 2–3pm

Reception: Saturday, July 18, 2015 from 3–4pm

Exhibit Dates: May 23 – July 30, 2015

Hours:   Monday & Wednesday, 11 – 6pm

               Tuesday & Thursday, 12 -7pm

               Friday & Saturday, 10 – 5pm

ABOUT EN FOCO’S TOURING GALLERY PROGRAM: En Foco features exhibitions by emerging photographers in community spaces throughout New York City. Photographers gain professional exhibition experience, an opportunity to interact with local audiences, and are awarded an honorarium. All Touring Gallery events are free and open to the public. This program is funded in part by the NY State Council on the Arts, the NY City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Bronx Council on the Arts. Special thanks to Harlem Library/NYPL for their collaboration and support.

Photo Credit: © Eugenia D’Ambrosio, Streams of Light, The Seen and the Unseen series 2013

1738 Hone Avenue • Bronx, NY 10461 • t: 718 931 9311 • f: 718 409 6445 • info@enfoco.orghttp://www.enfoco.org • facebook.com/enfoco

New Works #18 Artist Talk – April 30, 2015

chin_farmersinthefield_253I am Hello Kitty

Please join us at The Bronx Documentary Center

April 30, 2015, from 7 – 8:30pm.

Two of our New Works #18 Fellows, Alan Chin and Joana Toro will be presenting additional images from their ongoing photographic series. Toishan, China: Another Home 8,000 Miles Away a project developed by Chin explores both his family history and the larger story of the Chinese-American diaspora and emigration abroad; and Toro’s I am Hello Kitty which reflects the status of Latin immigrants in the US, cultural appropriation and new identities on the margins of a globalized world.  

We look forward to seeing you!


The Bronx Documentary Center

641 Courtlandt Ave @151st, Bronx 10451

2/5 train to 3rd Ave-149th Street stop. Walk uphill one block on 149th st. and make a right on Courtlandt Ave. Walk two blocks to the corner of 151st.

Please rsvp to info@enfoco.org

Photos: (Top) Alan Chin, Farmers in the Field,  (Bottom) Joana Toro I am Hello Kitty

En Foco Internships

En Foco is seeking (3) interns to help out with communications, marketing and exhibitions. This Spring / Summer internship is from May – July with a minimum of 8 – 10 hours per week. Interested applicants must submit a CV and cover letter* to info@enfoco.org with a subject stating area of interest (ie, Communications Intern). The internships are unpaid.

*Note it would be helpful to include links to your website, blog or any previously written content.

Application deadline is April 17, 2015. 

Communications Internship 

En Foco is a non profit photography organization that supports fine art and documentary photographers of diverse cultures. We seek a communication intern to contribute in various capacities to enhance En Foco’s online presence, to include posting about events and exhibitions, ensure the cross promotion of Nueva Luz (our magazine), production of original content for our blog, coordinating e-blasts, researching contacts and outlets for publicity outreach, maintenance of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Ideal Candidates would meet all or most of the following:

  • strong writing skills
  • creativity
  • attention to detail and self-starter
  • knowledgeable of current photography trends
  • proficiency in MS Office, Adobe Photoshop and social media
  • genuine passion for photography

Exhibition and Programming Internship

We seek an exhibition and programming intern to assist the Program Director with the promotion of current programming. Responsibilities include liaising with photographers, maintaining files on existing exhibition venues, researching potential venues, updating mailing list, assisting with coordination of exhibitions, workshops and special events.

Ideal Candidates would meet all or most of the following:

  • working knowledge of photographic field
  • proficiency in MS Office and Adobe Photoshop
  • ability to multitask and take initiative
  • genuine passion for photography

Marketing Internship

We seek a marketing intern to assist the Editor and Program Director with our  magazine Nueva Luz in all facets of circulation, marketing and advertising. Responsibilities include subscription customer service, preparing media kits, maintaining ad databases and mailing lists, interfacing with printing house; researching new business sources. Assisting with all special events. May require some photography of events.

  • proficiency in MS Office and Adobe Photoshop
  • familiarity with database programs and e-mail marketing software (not mandatory)
  • excellent communication skills
  • genuine passion for photography

All applications are due by Friday, April 17th. We look forward to hearing from you! 

No phone calls please. 

En Foco/StoryCorps Artist Interview: Grace Ali

In our second installment of Artist Interviews, Grace Ali speaks passionately in this interview with Zoraida Lopez about the meaning of home for an immigrant artist from Guyana in the United States. Her need to find herself, allowed for a relationship with New York City to bloom and eventually realized that “home is really where I am in the present moment.”

StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects – Since 2003, they have collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews with over 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in order “…to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters.” http://www.storycorps.org

Stay tuned for more interviews, coming soon.

Consider donating to En Foco, to help keep these stories alive. Donate here.

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:

photo 1-2
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
photo 1-1
Nueva Luz artist Gabriel Garcia Roman discussing his work. ©Dani Cattan
photo 1
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
photo 5
(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 Facebook.com/enfoco, 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.