Past Fellowship Awardees
En Foco Photography Fellowship Awardees
The Fellowship initiative affirms En Foco’s ongoing commitment to the financial support of artists of color and serves to inform exhibition organizers and curators of an existing pool of quality under-recognized artists.
Javier Álvarez is a Chilean photographer focused on social issues. After pursuing (but not completing) a BFA in Photography in Santiago de Chile, Javier worked as a freelance editorial and press photographer for agencies in between Brazil and Chile. Currently, he is based in Brooklyn, NY, and works as an independent photographer for editorial assignments and commercial clients. In addition to his personal and commissioned work, Javier is a contributor to the Brazilian independent journalistic platform MidiaNinja and was the co-founder and editor of the disappeared online platform for emerging photographers MUD-MAGAZINE.COM (2011-2015).
Daniel Aros-Aguilar (he/she/them) is a queer artist born in Colombia, now based in Harlem. Daniel grew up in Florida, where their family immigrated seeking refuge. After graduating high school, Daniel transferred to BMCC in Manhattan. They became assistant to photographer Mike Ruiz. Later, began producing commercial and editorial work for Brianna Capozzi, Talia Chetrit, Danko Steiner, Miranda Lichtenstein, and Daniel Gordon. Daniel has shown at The Greenpoint Gallery, The Cohen Archive Gallery, The Untitled Space, and Humble Arts Foundation in New York. As well as the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art in Korea. Their work has been featured in Aint-Bad, Sensored, and Maake magazines. As well as digitally by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the British Journal of Photography. Daniel currently holds a residency at the Bronx River Arts Center.
Carlos L. Esguerra was born in the Philippines and is now living in New York City. He was in the computer field for 36 years. He took early retirement to devote his time to his rediscovered passion –photography. As a landscape and architecture photographer, he has received national and international awards in photography. In 2008, he received the ‘Pamana ng Pilipino’ Award, the highest award given by the President of the Philippines to overseas Filipinos who excel in their fields of expertise. In 2011 he was awarded the ‘Aning Dangal’ (Harvest of Honors) by the National Council on Culture and the Arts of the Philippines. In 2014, he received the ‘Distinguished Alumni Award in Culture and the Arts’ from his alma mater, the University of the Philippines. In 2015, he received the “Order of the Knights of Rizal – New York Chapter Award for excellence in the Arts”.
Paola Fiterre is a Cuban artist based in New York City since 2017. Fiterre became passionate about photography in 2009 and primarily works on photography projects but she is also very interested in Mixed media and Performance art. Paola studied at the University of Art (ISA) in Havana, Cuba and is an International Center of Photography alumni from 2019 from the Creative Practices Program. Fiterre was recently awarded The Tory Burch and The International Center of Photography “A New New York” artists Fellowship. In the past, she was also awarded the ICP New Media Grant, which allowed her to develop her graduation project. Paola was selected by the Cuban Artist Found for the Artist in Residency Program at the Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and in 2018 was selected for the New York Portfolio Review sponsored by the New York Times and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Diana Guerra is a Peruvian-American photographer who is currently based in New York. She holds an MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from the City College of New York and a Bachelor degree in Sociology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Guerra’s early training in photography was at Parsons School of Design as part of the MFA Photography and New Media program. Guerra’s work has been exhibited and published in Italy, Argentina, Hungary and New York. Her work has appeared in Photoville, The Curated Fridge, Humble Arts Foundation, The Journal of New and New Media Photography, among others.
Carmen Lizardo was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 19. She holds a BFA in Photography and an MFA in Digital Art from Pratt Institute. For Lizardo using multiple media has been an essential part of her work, particularly alternative photo processes, printmaking, drawing, and video work. Lizardo had received several awards including a Women Studio Workshop Book Production Grant, a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship (nominated in both Painting and Photography). Lizardo was one of five American Artists of Latino descent awarded with an international travel and production grant from the U.S. Department of Cultural Affairs.
Dennis RedMoon Darkeem is Bronx-born and raised. He is of Yamassee Creek-Seminole Native American and African American descent. Dennis has been an artist and art educator. He received his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and his Master’s in Art Direction from Pratt Institute. Over the years. He’s been an Artist in Residence with many art organizations like Wave Hill, the Laundromat Project, The Point, Bronx Children’s Museum, I.C.P, and Jamaica Arts Center. Dennis has exhibited his work at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Brooklyn Museum of the Arts, La Mama Theater, The MoMA, Bronx Art Space, Rush Gallery, The Judaic Museum of Art, and Smack Mellon, and has received fellowships and scholarships from the NYSFA, NYC Teachers Foundation, Marko Roth scholarship, and Price Waterhouse Fellowship award.
Born 1979, Jahi Sabater received his BFA from Parsons the New School for Design, and his MFA from Rutgers University. Jahi is a recipient of the 2018 NYFA fellowship in Photography, the 2015 Bovero Prize, and was a 2009 fellow in AIM at the Bronx Museum of Art. A Bronx native, he now works in Queens New York making his studio-based photographic works.
Cinthya Santos Briones is a Mexican participatory artist, anthropologist, ethnohistorian, and community organizer based in New York. Her multimedia work uses collaborative and community narratives of self-representation to tell stories about homeland, immigration, memory, and indigenous identity. Through an interdisciplinary process, she uses photography, ethnography, history, textiles, herbalism, audiovisuals, and written narratives. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants including the Magnum Foundation (2016/2018/2020), En Foco (2017), National Geographic Research and Exploration (2018), We Woman (2019), and the National Fund for Culture and the Arts of México (2009/2011). Her work has been published in The New York Times, Pdn, California Sunday Magazine, Vogue, Open Society Foundations, Buzzfeed, The Intercept, and The Nation Magazine, among others. Cinthya has worked in pro-immigrant organizations in New York as a community organizer and is currently Adjunct Faculty at the Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.
Nyasia Sylvester is an artist in all sense of the word. A little unconventional, versatile, sensitive, and ever-changing. A visual creator that specializes in photography but dabbles in a little bit of everything from graphic design, filmmaking, cataloging & producing just to name a few. For 7 years she stumbled around trying to find her footing as a photographer, essentially finding her voice. It wasn’t until certain life-changing experiences and an acceptance into the D&AD New Blood Shift program that her views on not only creativity but life shifted immensely. She now spends her time focusing on creating bodies of work that tell stories about her community, family, love, her experiences as a black woman, grief, and self-exploration.
Richard Acevedo studied media while attending college. He started as an intern and worked his way up to become the Head Video Editor and Photographer at the multimedia center at Lehman College. In hopes of giving everything he does a greater purpose, Acevedo spends time pushing his creative boundaries by learning new software and technical skills.
Argenis Apolinario is of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage and grew up in the Bronx. He attended Laguardia High School with an interest in drawing and painting then studied fine arts at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. There he expanded his visual language, analytical perception, and technical skills and became more interested in photography. After college, he continued his professional and creative relationship with photographic exploration. In 2020, Argenis’s photography was featured in En Foco’s online exhibition Asymptomatic/Systematic
Roy Baizan is a Chicanx documentary photographer and arts educator from the Bronx whose work focuses on community, environment, and identity. Shortly after graduating from the International Center of Photography’s Teen Programming, they became a teaching assistant. This would put them on a path to become an educator focusing on empowering the city’s youth through visual storytelling and community service. They have since worked for The Bronx Documentary Center, The Point, The Bronx River Art Center, and ICP continuing to create safe, supportive learning environment’s through visual arts. In 2018 they graduated from the Visual Journalism and Documentary Practice Program at ICP with the support of the Wall Street Journal Scholarship and Board of Directors Scholarship. Recently Photoville has featured them as an artist to watch in 2020. Their work has been published in The New York Times, America Magazine, The Intercept, Remezcla, and HBO Latino.
David Baptiste is a multidisciplinary maker working in fashion design, photography, and textiles. His migration from Haiti to America inspires all his work. As an immigrant and queer person, his work examines the multidimensional identities of the Caribbean diaspora living in the United States. Through collaborative projects and various mediums, his work aims to decolonize notions of race, gender, and class within the Haitian community and greater Caribbean diaspora. He is a recent Parsons graduate with a BFA in Fashion Design. His photographs have been published in The New Yorker, American Vogue, and has been exhibited at Red Hook Labs, Photoville, and Aperture. He is currently a 2020 Lakou NOU resident at the Haiti Cultural Exchange.
Kevin Quiles Bonilla is an interdisciplinary artist born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received a BA in Fine Arts – Photography from the University of Puerto Rico (2015) and an MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design (2018). His work has been presented in Puerto Rico, The United States, Mexico, China, Belgium, and Japan. He’s the recipient of an Emerging Artist Award from The John F. Kennedy Center (2017). He has recently presented his work at The Brooklyn Museum, Queens Museum, The 8th Floor Gallery, Dedalus Foundation, and the Leslie-Lohman Museum’s Project Space. He has been an artist in residence at Art Beyond Sight’s Arts + Disability Residency (2018-2019), Leslie-Lohman Museum’s Queer Performance Residency (2019), and LMCC’s Workspace Residency (2019-2020). He explores ideas around power, colonialism, and history with his identity as context. He currently lives in New York City.
Amarise Carreras is a photo-based performance artist from Queens, New York City. They received their BFA in Photography and Film from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. They examine their past and present history through co-writing narratives that center their matriarchal lineage. They explore identity within their diasporic experience through installation, performance, and documentation. Amarise has shown in galleries such as Candela Gallery, Transmitter, and is currently featured in Aperture Magazine’s Utopia, Winter 2020 Issue.
Vinay Hira is a multidisciplinary artist based in Manhattan, New York. His self-referential aesthetic and varied self-taught technique produces work that distorts the image of a charming commonwealth brown boy – making audiences simultaneously experience his familiarity and his otherness. Hira’s work dips in and out of pop culture, existing in the liminality between eccentricity and instability where our deepest desires and greatest insecurities threaten to spill from our mouths – it is his journey as both an artist and a human. Hira is a trained marine scientist and plant pathologist who was flung into artistic notoriety while working in sterling bond investment in the bourgeois New Zealand suburbs.
Sydney King is a Brooklyn-based artist working primarily in large format photography. Her work explores the physicality of photography, its relationship to the body, and its potential to create new realities and histories. King graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 2017 and attended the Yale School of Art Norfolk residency in 2016. Her work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography Museum, the Broodthaers Society of America, the Dean Collection, Chashama, Site: Brooklyn, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and others. She completed a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts in July 2019 and is a member of the founding cohort of Cereus Art. She will be a Session Artist at Recess Art in 2021, collaborating with movement artist Ogemdi Ude to realize their project Living Relics.
Spandita Malik is a New York-based artist from India. Her work is concerned with the current global socio-political state of affairs with an emphasis on women’s rights and gendered violence. Malik specializes in process-based work in photography, recently with photographic surface embroideries and collaborations with women in India. Malik received her MFA in Photography from Parsons School of Design in 2019. She was awarded the Firecracker Photographic Grant and South Asian Arts Resiliency Grant. She was chosen for Studio Vortex Artist Residency by Antoine d’Agata in Arles, France (2018); Baxter St Workspace Residency in New York (2020); Feminist Incubator Residency by Project for Empty Spaces in New Jersey (2020); and The Center for Photography at Woodstock Artist in Residency Program, Woodstock, NY (2021). Malik’s work has been featured in magazines like Musée Magazine and Harper’s Magazine, she was named ‘Ones to Watch 2020’ by The British Journal of Photography.
Bashira Webb was born in Baltimore and raised in the Bronx. She began photography classes at a little-known program in the South Bronx called ICP at the Point. After three years of training there, she was awarded the Jocelyne Benzakin Fellowship. The program served as a stepping stone to further her education and begin classes at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan, where she was mentored by established photojournalists. Shortly after, she formed a collective with her peers called the NYC Bridge Project, whose purpose was to give back to the community and teach a younger generation the importance of telling their own stories through photography. In 2008, the NYC Bridge Project was awarded a grant by the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund to help support its growth. To this day, Bashira continues educating young minds.
Akshay Bhoan was born in 1986 in Bangalore, India and graduated from International Centre Of Photography in 2015. His work is focused on intimate study of social politics, personal experience and culture. His work has been exhibited around the world including in New York (Photoville, ICP Museum, Mana Contemporary), New Delhi (Delhi Photo Festival, Tasveer Arts), Colombia (Short Gallery Bogata) and Denmark (Municipal Welcome House).
Odette Chavez-Mayo is a photo based artist working with black and white analog processes to create poetic images that transform and unify internal landscapes of being with external reality. Past projects include portraits of women serving life sentences and landscapes of quotidian life in Mexico City with her grandmother. Odette received a BFA with honors from Antioch College, she currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Jon Henry is a visual artist working with photography and text, from Queens NY (resides in Brooklyn). His work reflects on family, socio political issues, grief, trauma and healing within the African American community. His work has been published both nationally and internationally and exhibited in numerous galleries including Aperture Foundation, Smack Mellon, and BRIC among others and has won LensCultures Emerging Talent grant.
Josefina F Moran was born and raised in Argentina. Currently she lives in Brooklyn. Her focus is portraiture as a way to discover the identity of the people she photographs. Her work was exhibited at the Latin American Fine Art Competition at Agora Gallery and is one of the winners of the 2019 Photo Review. She taught photography in her native Buenos Aires and has worked with photographer Harvey Stein teaching workshops in Argentina.
Betty Yu is Chinese-American multimedia artist, filmmaker and activist born and raised in NYC. Betty received the Laundromat Project’s 2016 SOAPBOX Community Artist Award and has been awarded residencies from International Studio & Curatorial Program and Santa Fe Art Institute. She co-founded Chinatown Art Brigade, a cultural collective using art to advance anti-gentrification organizing. Betty won the 2017 Aronson Journalism Award for her film Three Tours about U.S. veterans returning home from war and fighting to overcome their PTSD.
Johnnie Chatman (B. 1990) is a lens-based artist residing in New York. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Photography, Video & Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Chatman’s work has been featured in exhibitions across the US including at the De Young Museum, Claremont Museum of Art, among others. He is also the founder of Terms & Conditions, a showcase of experimentation in moving image.
Antonio Johnson is an emerging visual artist whose work focuses on concepts of home and healing. His primary medium is photography and has earned a reputation for capturing scenes that communicate the complex beauty of urban spaces and everyday people. A self-taught photographer, his work is undeniably intimate and authentic. He achieves that through the relationships he establishes with subjects, embedding himself in their worlds.
Rahul Majumdar’s work centers around the themes of belonging/un-belonging, human desire and emotion, family and spirituality. His formal education has been in business and not art. After a decade with corporate India, he started out as a self taught, full-time photographer. Working as a Teaching Assistant since 2014 at ICP continues to inform his practice. In 2017, Rahul self-published Inarticulate, a single edition photo book of 100 copies.
Roberta Dorsett & Clarissa B. Aponte (Collaborators): Roberta Dorsett is an African American photographer born and raised in the South Bronx. Clarissa B. Aponte is a Puerto Rican photographer born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn and Long Island. Both artists earned their B.A. degree in Studio Art from CCNY. Roberta’s work focuses on documenting her family and abandoned places around New York City while Clarissa’s work concentrates on her familial relationships and environments.
Luis Manuel Diaz (Michoacán, Mexico) works in photography, video, and performance challenging and commenting on immigration in response to the portrayal of the immigrant community in the United States. In 2019 he received a BFA in photography from Parsons The New School for Design. Diaz has exhibited work in numerous exhibitions including the Parsons BFA Thesis Show at Aperture Foundation and Convergence at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Gallery. Diaz currently lives and works in NY.
Melanie Gonzalez is an interdisciplinary photographer and video/film artist of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent. She received a BA in Studio Art Photography and Italian language from The City College of New York. Gonzalez creates and directs photographic narratives through live performances and digital photography. She considers herself a traveler, shooting landscapes and architectural portraits on analog film. Gonzalez has shown work at El Museo Centro de Leon, Concourse House, Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos, Wave Hill Sunroom Project Space, The American Museum of Natural History, Medianoche New Media Gallery & Digital Film Studio, The Andrew Freedman Home, The Clemente Gallery, and Temporary Storage Gallery. She currently resides in The Bronx, NY.
Virginia Inés Vergara is a photo-based Chilean American artist with a studio practice in Harlem going back nearly a decade. Vergara received a BFA with honors from Rhode Island School of Design, studying at RISD’s European Honors program in Rome, and an MFA in Photography from CUNY Hunter College. Her work embodies meditations on light, perception and proximity, and investigations into relationships between art and nature. She has exhibited widely in New York, including a solo-exhibition of her Shards series at Robert Miller Gallery. She exhibited her Glass-scape series in Uptown (2017) at The Wallach Gallery curated by Deborah Cullen. Her work is included in numerous private European and American collections. Vergara was born, raised and currently resides in New York City.
Derick Whitson works within the realms of photography, video, and performance, earning his MFA at Columbia University & BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design. His work has been published in Miami New Times, Huffington Post, and The Advocate Magazine. Whitson has participated in many residencies across the US, including programs at Mass MoCA, The Fountainhead (Miami), and the AICAD/New York Studio Residency Program. His work has been exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins. Originally from Mansfield, Ohio, Whitson currently lives & works in New York City.
Damarys Alvarez is an artist/photographer and graduate of Parsons the New School For Design with a BFA in photography. Originally from Miami, Florida and strongly connected with her Cuban heritage, Damarys attributes travel to Cuba to be a crucial element to the work she makes, not only to further her own connection to her homeland but to illustrate the existing diasporic themes the island continues to possess. Influenced by her grandmother, a life-long seamstress. Alvarez grew up observing the sewing machine as a tool of strength, labor, and efficiency for the working class using photography as an ever-evolving expansive thread of separation and diaspora. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Jerry Lim is an artist that works with photography, text, sound and video. His recent projects include photographs made at a North Korean school in Japan, the fading lighting district in New York City, 3D rendered images of wild and GMO salmon interactions, and work based on the colonization and division of Korea. Lim received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in sculpture and MFA at Cornell University. He is a recipient of grants from the Cornell Council for the Art, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and the East Asia Program a Cornell University. Most recently, he was the recipient of a Light Work 2018 grant in photography. Lim is also an accomplished experimental guitarist having performed at venues such as Roulette, The Stone and Carnegie Hall.
D’Angelo Lovell Williams received his BFA in Photography at Memphis College of Art and his MFA in Art Photography at Syracuse University. His work has been exhibited at The Mint Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, The Pingyao International Photography Festival in Pingyao, China, Black Box gallery in Portland, Oregon and The Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, as well as two solo exhibitions at Higher Pictures. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times by Roberta Smith and featured in Ain’t Bad, Dazed Digital, W magazine, Out Magazine, Newspaper Magazine, Strange Fire Collective, The Ones We Love, It’s Nice That, and VICE. A 2018 alumni of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency program, D’Angelo is a Critical Mass Top 50 winner, the winner of the PDN Photo Annual student category, and a finalist of the 2018 Magenta’s Flash Forward. Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, he currently lives and works in New York City and Los Angeles.
Tiffany Smith is an interdisciplinary artist from the Caribbean diaspora who creates photographic portraits, site responsive installations, user engaged experiences, and assemblages focused on identity, representation, cultural ambiguity, and displacement. Smith received a BFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA in Photo/Video from SVA. Her work has been exhibited at MassArt, St. John’s University, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The National Gallery of Jamaica, Photo NOLA in New Orleans among others. She has presented public art installations in Newark Penn Station through The Gateway Project and Marcus Garvey Park during Flux Art Fair. Recent solo exhibitions include The Wassaic Project, Recess Assembly, and Montserrat College of Art. Smith is a 2018 recipient of NYFA Artist Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Work.
Ruben Ramirez is a Dominican-American photographer born and raised in New York City. The son of working-class Dominican immigrants who migrated to the U.S. in the mid 1960’s, his passion for photography led him to pursue a BA in Liberal Arts from City College. In 2007, he was awarded the Mortimeyer-Hays Traveling fellowship for his photo documentation project on Child Labor Exploitation in the Dominican Republic. Ramirez has a predilection for social documentary photography as well as contemporary street photography, developing in the process a large body of work consisting of images of daily life scenes in the Dominican Republic as well as Latino and African American communities of New York. He currently resides in Spanish Harlem, New York.
Roger Richardson is a photographer based in the Hudson Valley, New York. In 2017, he received his BFA in photography from SUNY Purchase. Working in a documentary style, his work primarily involves engaging in communities, focusing on the everyday. Richardson aspires not to use photography as a way to fully understand the world, but as an entryway in which he can honestly connect with the world around him.
Aaron Turner uses photography to pursue personal stories of people of color in two main areas of the US; the Arkansas and Mississippi Deltas. Aaron also uses the view camera to create still life studies on the topics of race, history, blackness as material, and the role of the black artist. He received his MA from Ohio University and an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts/Rutgers University. Turner participated in the 2018 Light Work Artists-in-Residence program at Syracuse University.
Alexis Ruiseco – I am a Cuban born-American queer photographer born in Güines, Cuba. Displaced by he effects of the communist regime, on September 28th, 1995, I arrived in Miami, Florida, with my mother, to join my grandfather, grandmother, and great grandmother. In 2009 I enrolled at Miami Dade College and started my education in photography. Focusing on the queer Latino community in Miami exploring performance and domestic spaces as sites of resistance. In 2013 I moved New York to continue my investigations within NYC and Brooklyn’s queer communities. In 2016, I graduated from Parsons, The New School for Design with a BFA in photography. A few months after graduation It raveled to Cuba with the CubaOne Foundation after not having returned for 10 years, initiating my exploration of queer communities outside Cuba’s capital. Shifting my focus from the metropolitan city. From this triangular trajectory I reflect on issues of visibility, admission, and representation; using my dual citizenship, my access, as a precious commodity. I have shown selected works at Milk Gallery NYC, Kendal Gallery in Miami, the Leslie Lohman Museum(forthcoming) have been featured in VICE, Teeth Magazine, and has been a performer (forthcoming) at the Museum of Modern Art.
Antonio Pulgarin is a Colombian-American artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Pulgarin trained at the School of Visual Arts where he received his BFA in Photography in 2013. His work has been included in various exhibitions including at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Daniel Cooney Fine Art Gallery, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse, Photo LA, Photoville, and International Photo Festival Leiden. His work has received honors from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, YoungArts, Latin American Fotografia, American Photography, and PDN Photo Annual. Pulgarin’s photographs have been featured in publications such as Vice, Vice Colombia, Slate, LensCulture, The Huffington Post, and Photo District News.
Gioncarlo Valentine – Growing up in Baltimore was a lot like living under a lid. It is a remarkable and beautiful place with a rich heritage and a propelling sense of community, but there is a continuous feeling of suffocation and hopelessness that comes from all the things we lack. My experience was far too often the experience of Black poverty and deprivation: Homelessness, transience, and longing for stability. My mother struggled with addiction. My father, violent and unstable. Experiencing things like physical violence, truancy, depression, and ostracization allowed me so many varying perspectives. It cultivated a sense of deep understanding and shaped the way that I view the world. In college I majored in writing to satiate my desire to tell stories, but prose left me feeling empty far too often. When I discovered Gordon Parks and his photo essays I was blown away. He was a masterful storyteller who used both prose and a camera to captivate viewers. His work led me to Eli Reed, Richard Avedon, Ming Smith, and James Nachtwey. I fell in love with their ability to create complex narratives in a single frame. Soon after I purchased a camera and got to work.
Hidemi Takagi was born in Kyoto, Japan and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Takagi has exhibited both nationally and internationally (London, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Berlin and Paris). Her notable selected exhibitions include The Bronx Museum of the arts, Queens Museum, BRIC Media art center, White columns, Momenta Art, The Ukrainian Institute, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, NYFA Gallery, etc. Takagi participated in the AIM program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts (2004), NYFA IAP mentoring Program (2008), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council ǯs Swing. Space (2010), Engaging Artist residency by More Art (2015), BRIC New Media Art Fellowship (2016) and Utopian Practice Fellowship by Culture Push (2017). Her work has been reviewed in Time Out Tel Aviv, Time Out New York, NY Times and Village Voice. Her ‘Blender’ project was selected for “Times Square Public Arts 2011” and her “Hello it’s me” was awarded a Seed Grant By More Art.
Jonathan Gardenhire (b. 1992, Lower East Side, New York) is an artist and cultural producer whose work explores representations of race and sexuality, most often with an emphasis on black masculinity. His practice critically examines how constructions of power, value, knowledge and social change are produced and shared in the cultural sector. Gardenhire received a BFA in photography from Parsons The New School of Design in 2014 under artist and academic, Bill Gaskins and the late photographer George Pitts. He has also taken photography course work at School of Visual Arts and International Center of Photography. His work has been exhibited at Slought Foundation (Philadelphia), International Center of Photography (NY), Milk Gallery (NY), The New School and Bronx Art Space, among others. In 2017, Gardenhire was the subject of a solo exhibition, A Mighty Fortress is Our God and Other Pictures, at the Brooklyn apartment gallery Medium Tings. Using traditional methods of photography, such as studio portraiture, and more contemporary methods, such as appropriation, Gardenhire’s work traces a “mis-history” in an attempt to redefine and reclaim black identity through a variety of imagery to reshape perceptions of black humanity at large.
Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is a documentary photographer based in New York City. Her work has been published in The New York Times, BBC, The Washington Post, LePoint Afrique, CBS News, Vogue, among other publications. She is the co-editor of MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. It is the first publication in nearly 30 years that features photography produced by women of African descent. Barrayn was recently awarded the Reporting Grant for Womens Stories from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) to continue her work documenting the lives of women in post-conflict Casamance, Senegal. Barrayn’s photography projects have been supported by Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies and the Research Foundation of the City University of New York. Her latest project on the Baye Fall sufi order of Senegal was exhibited at Galleria Biagiottie in Florence, Italy and at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) New York. She was recently an artist-in-residence at the Waaw Centre for Art and Design in Saint-Louis, Senegal.
Mark Aghatise is a London-born, New York-based artist. His work explores the processes of deconstructing and constructing images of the black male figure. Movement, repetition, and the failure of both are central to his photographic studies and endeavors.
Rhynna M. Santos is a photographer born in Puerto Rico and currently residing in the Bronx. Ms. Santos work depicts the everyday life and perspective of people of color. Her work has been featured in Curate NYC 2013, Jerome Avenue Workers Project 2015, Living Latina 2016 and Bronx Now 2016. In collaboration with En Foco, Ms. Santos photographs were featured in the article of Living Latina: The Bronx Womens Photo Collective, Nueva Luz Photographic Journal 2016, Volume 20, Number 1. Santos is a member of the Bronx Photo League at the Bronx Documentary Center, curator for the Instagram feed Everyday Bronx and founder of the Bronx Women’s Photo Collective. In addition, Santos serves as co-executive Chair of the Bronx Culture Collective. Ms. Santos earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies from UCLA in 2007 and has lived and worked in Spain, where she entered and placed in her first photography competition, PhotoEspaña.
Tau Battice – Born in Basseterre, St. Kitts-Nevis and based in New York City, Tau Battice is a lifelong lover of the photograph and its power to preserve the moment, proclaim nuance, and propel humanity to positive action. He teaches at the City University of New York and lives in Harlem with his family. Specializing in portraiture, Tau engages long-term personal projects and is concurrently working on his first monographs about Harlem and Afro Latinas. His specific interest is documenting the African diaspora in the Americas.
Yu-Chen Chiu is a photographer currently residing in New York City. Her background includes a B.A. in English Literature from Chinese Culture University and a M.A. degree in Communication Studies and Film Productions at New York University. She has also studied photography at the Cooper Union and International Center of Photography. Yu-Chen’s artwork has been exhibited and screened worldwide, such as at the Chelsea Art Museum, the South Street Seaport Museum, and the Sony Wonder Lab Museum in New York City, USA; Musee du Louvre Paris, France; and VIDEO FORMES in Clermont-Ferrand, France. She is the Gold award recipient for New Creation Jury Award of VIDEOFORMES in France; the Winner for 2015 EYEEM Photo Awards (The Traveller Category); 2013 B+W Magazine Single Image Winner; two Silvers for Paris PX3; the Finalist of 2017 Athens Photo Festival, Dotphotozine Award for Excellence in Photography, Photolucida Critical Mass Top 200, and Reportage Photo Festival in East Australia, and the honorable mention for IPA (International Photography Awards), Julia Margaret Cameron Award. Her work is also appeared in various online and printed publications, such as Smithsonian.com, ELLE China, VOGUE International, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Metro Asian Food Magazine and Paul Auster’s book cover.
Cinthya Santos-Briones – Before becoming a documentary photographer, Santos-Briones studied anthropology and history, which led her to work as a researcher in different institutions in Mexico, focused on the study of indigenous and rural communities. She was twice a fellow of the State Fund for Culture and the Arts of México. She is co-author of the book The Indigenous Worldview and its Representations in Textiles of the Nahua community of Santa Ana Tzacuala, Hidalgo. Cinthya has published and broadcasted her work in media as well in books and magazines in Mexico, Spain and the United States, related with issue of migration, textiles and shamanism. 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 Internacional Center Of Photography in New York City. In the autumn of 2016 she received a fellowship granted by the Magnum Foundation. Cinthya has worked in pro immigrant organizations in New York as a community organizer.
Daesha Devón Harris is a Saratoga Springs, New York native, artist and photographer who has spent time in Buffalo, NY and San Francisco, CA. Her earliest mentor was her Great Uncle, Joseph Daniels, a self taught artist and accomplished painter from whom she received painting instruction as a young child. She credits her parents for always fostering her creativity and fueling her interest in stories and history, but most importantly for teaching her the importance of community. 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. She is a member of various organizations and plays an active role in her community as a youth advocate, social activist and cultural history preservationist. Harris is an award winning artist that has been featured in numerous exhibitions across New York State as well in Philadelphia, PA, Louisville, CO, and beyond. She is also an avid fisherman and hobbyist gardener.
Daniel Martinez was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. Growing up in the city molded me into an individual that strives for opportunity. Following high school, I immediately applied and was accepted into The School of Visual Arts, but unfortunately wasn’t able to stay because of the tuition cost. Even though I didn’t finish school I feel it honestly shaped my life for the better. I went on to starting my own photography business and photographing over 100 weddings in my first 2 years. I didn’t feel stuck anymore, I didn’t feel like I was held back by exams and assignments that I wasn’t passionate about. In life I’ve always felt I was meant to do more than just go to school, find a job, and buy a house..,none of that really made me excited to live and I noticed that at a very young age. I’m very passionate about what I do because I love it, and that’s a reason why I’m taking every opportunity that comes my way. I want to be more than just another photographer, I want to be somebody that changes lives through photography.
Erika Morillo was born and raised in Dominican Republic. Morillo has been working as a freelance professional in NYC for over a decade. She studied clinical psychology and sociology, which influenced her to photograph as a way to understand her family dynamics and the social environment she inhabits. Morillo has extensive experience as a documentary photographer, mainly with projects/assignments that focus on social issues, public health, inner city life and Latino culture. She has ongoing photography collaborations with different organizations including: International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), Maryland Department of Health and Remezcla. Her photographs focus on the issues of family, inner city life and the finding of identity. She currently lives in New York City with her son Amaru.
Jon William Santiago is an American photographer and filmmaker based in New York. Born in New York City to a Puerto Rican family, his work reflect his background and experiences. A self taught photographer, his interest in documentary photography took off after a trip to Nepal. Afterwards he took to the streets of the Bronx and after some time came across the Bronx Documentary Center. It is here where his image making and storytelling skills continue to develop. Santiago is a member of the Bronx Photo League, a collective dedicated to social issues within the borough and with whom he created the book, Jerome Ave (BDC Editions, 2016). He is currently a teacher at the Bronx Documentary Center after-school program and works as a freelance photographer and videographer. His work can be found in publications such as The New York Times, Burn, and Time.
Lisa DuBois is a New York based photographer specializing in photojournalism. Her years studying at the School of Visual Arts with late photographer Ruth Orkin helped shape her approach to photography. Lisa continued her studies at the Germain School of Photography and graduated with awards in Photojournalism. In the late eighties, Lisa’s paparazzi days were spent photographing events and celebrities for the Village Voice and The New York Post. During this time she worked as photo editor for the Black American News. During the nineties, she taught herself Photoshop and began to produce surreal and conceptual photography while raising her daughter. Lisa was a staff reporter for Examiner from 2011 until they closed in 2015. and is now a contributing photographer in the creative department at Getty Images. She spends time documenting subcultures in New Orleans and New York.
Lisa has exhibited in Europe, Asia and the United States. Her work on New Orleans subculture is sold to collectors through the Sutton Gallery in Louisiana. Photography has never translated into work for Lisa, every time she picks up the camera it is a stimulating new experience.
Nichole Washington uses portraiture to explore her identity as a black woman. She instructs her subjects on poses and style of dress in order to mimic expressions that have influenced her. Through this process she aims to reveal underlying personalities within the labels placed upon her. She hopes her work will empower women to express themselves fully and freely. Nichole was raised in Roseville, Minnesota. In 2005 she moved to Los Angeles where she earned her bachelor’s degree in fashion marketing. She moved to NYC in 2009 to further develop her skills in photography. She is a recent graduate of School of Visual Arts where she earned a masters degree in digital photography. During her graduate studies, Nichole was a recipient of the 2016 MPSDP Thesis Scholarship. In 2016 Nichole was a part of multiple group shows including Sight Seen at SVA-Chelsea gallery and Holla Back at Studio 301. Nichole’s latest work For My Girls was featured in three exhibitions at the 2016 Photoville festival in Brooklyn, NY. This included being featured on her very own emergi-cube. For My Girls was also featured online by Refinery 29 and by Italian news publication La Stampa. Nichole is currently based in NYC.
Rhea Karam was born in Beirut and grew up between the U.S. and France. She is based in NY where she graduated from the International Center of Photography in 2007 and was the recipient of a director’s scholarship. Her work focuses on documenting domestic and urban environments with an emphasis on public walls and the role they play in our daily lives. In 2009 she published Breathing Walls, a visual archive of the political transition in Lebanon. She has exhibited internationally in both solo and group shows and has won several awards among which the Silver Eye Fellowship commendation award, best of show at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center and was named top 10 emerging Middle Eastern artists to watch by CNN.
Santana Copeland, as a child ran around the house taking pictures with a camera that had no film in it. His fascination with images and storytelling led him to Bard College where he received a BA in Film and Electronic Arts. He made the transition from the moving image to the still image and earned an MFA in Studio Art from Long Island University Post. At Post, he received the O’Malley Grant and the SVPA “Excellence in Photography” Award. He was a panelist at LIMarts’ The Artist’s Vision: Understanding the Creative Inspiration & Process and has exhibited at Bushwick Community Darkroom, Studio 5404, SIA Gallery, The Steinberg Museum of Art, and Ripe Art Gallery. Santana Copeland continues to be a child that runs around the house.
Anthony Hamboussi is an Egyptian-American photographer, born in Brooklyn, NY in 1969. He has exhibited in the Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, International Center of Photography, MoMA/PS1, Americas Society, Queens Museum and Sculpture Center, New York. His book, Newtown Creek: A Photographic Survey of New York’s Industrial Waterway was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2010. He has co-authored two books; What is Affordable Housing? with the Center for Urban Pedagogy and LIC in Context with Place in History. His collaborations include Words, Images, and Spaces: A Language for a New City? with Kyong Park and International Center for Urban Ecology. Hamboussi has received grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Jerome Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts in Architecture, Planning & Design. His photographs have been published in The New Yorker, Domus Magazine, and The New York Times, among others.
Adeline Lulo was born in Washington Heights, New York, USA and raised in the Bronx, New York. She received her BFA in Photography from Parsons School of Design in May 2015. She has grown up between two places that are very dominant to the Dominican society. This has allowed her to experience a duality of life between Washington Heights, New York and the Dominican Republic. Through her photographs, Lulo attempts to capture the national essence of a Caribbean nation of ten million people. Her images have a romanticized quality to them because of her personal connection that ties back to her childhood spending summers exploring her motherland. She finds beauty in how her friends and family remain humble and grateful. Lulo’s work spans many consecutive summers and acts as a way to reconnect with her culture and it’s society. The different themes conveyed throughout the work address family values, class inequity, access to healthcare and poverty. Her obligation as the artist is to empower the Dominican Community in both countries, while focusing on their unique national characteristics.
Danny R. Peralta was born in The Bronx in 1978 and was raised in the Inwood section of upper Manhattan. Shortly after he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Science from NYU’s School of Education in 2000 he began his work as a youth educator and community developer. In 2002, while searching to expand upon his love for art and storytelling, he formally began attending black and white photography workshops at ICP @ THE POINT in the South Bronx and was awarded the first ever Jocelyn Benzakin Fellowship for documentary photography in 2005 where he studied intensively at the International Center of Photography as a concerned photographer. From that point on, he turned his camera onto his immediate family and community, completing compelling projects like Ma (winner of 2007 BRIO Award), LOVE LIVES (a call for trauma relief in Hunts Point) and ‘Bout that Life (recently featured in BX200’s Bronx Now exhibit). In 2008, he went back to THE POINT CDC to work as Director of Arts and Education, and in the fall of 2015 became the Executive Managing Director. In 2009, he also co-founded Peasant Podium Music, curating live musical showcases and visual art experiences not only for local artists but for individuals from throughout the globe. He currently lives in the Pelham Parkway section of The Bronx with his wife and two sons, who inspire his every endeavor.
Tommy Kha was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. Tommy Kha is a photographer/artist based in New York City and Memphis. His work has been exhibited internationally, including Ryerson Artspace, Georgia Scherman Projects, Aperture, ALLGold at MoMA PS1 Printshop, Yongkang Lu Art, and Kunstverein Wolfsburg. Publications include Slate, The Huffington Post, Aint-Bad Magazine, Hyperallergic, Blouin ArtInfo, BUTT Magazine, and Miranda July’s We Think Alone. Kha is a former Light Work artist-in-residence, and recently published his first monograph, A Real Imitation, through Aint-Bad Editions. Kha holds an MFA in Photography from Yale University.
Lawrence Sumulong is a Filipino American photographer and Photo Editor with Jazz at Lincoln Center based in New York City. In 2015, The Lucie Foundation shortlisted him as an “emerging talent with vision and dynamic ideas that challenge and progress the art form of still photography into work that compels”. Among others, his work has been featured by Burn Magazine, Huck Magazine, Le Monde’s M le magazine du Monde, Sydney Morning Herald, The New Yorker: Photo Booth, The New York Times, Chobi Mela VI, Festival Internacional de Fotografia de Porto Alegre, The GroundTruth Project, Head On Photo Festival, the Jorge B. Vargas Museum, the Milk Gallery, NPR, Photovisa VII: International Festival of Photography, Sony World Photography Awards, and Verve: The New Breed of Documentary Photographers.