Light Work’s Online Benefit Auction: Nov. 25 – Dec. 10 on Paddle8


Light Work is pleased to partner with Paddle8 to launch an online benefit auction of limited-edition prints and signed books. The auction runs from Nov. 25 through Dec. 10, 2014. All proceeds benefit Light Work, and support our mission of supporting emerging and under-represented artists working in photography.

For this unique online auction, we have invited guest curator Andy Adams (Editor, FlakPhoto) to hand select prints from Light Work’s Fine Print Program. Each of the prints at auction are framed and ready to hang. All lots include an annual subscription to Contact Sheet. Bidding begins between $200 and $1,500.

This auction is a great opportunity to contribute to Light Work’s mission and receive a collectible work of art, that will last generations, in return. Your support is the gift that keeps on giving. Additionally, great art for a great cause makes for very memorable holiday presents for loved ones (or yourself).

The auction includes works by Carrie Mae Weems, Dawoud Bey, Christian Patterson, Kelli Connell, Doug DuBois, Lucas Foglia, Ann Hamilton, Leslie Hewitt, Mark Klett, Shane Lavalette, Deana Lawson, Raymond Meeks, Duane Michals, Andrea Modica, Mark Steinmetz, William Wegman, James Welling, and more!

We thank you, as always, for your continued support of the hundreds of artists that have called Light Work home over the past forty-one years. With your support, we will continue to do this valuable work for many more years to come. Thank you.

 Please visit our auction to view all lots, and start your bidding!

Andy Adams

Andy Adams is an independent producer + publisher whose work blends digital communication, online audience engagement, and web-based creative collaboration to explore current ideas in photography and visual media. He is the editor of FlakPhoto, a website that promotes the discovery of photographic image-makers from around the world. In his spare time, he hosts FlakPhoto Network, an online community focused on conversations about photo/arts culture.

Andy Adams

Andy Adams on Photography, Supporting Working Artists, and Light Work’s Benefit Auction

Light Work invited Andy Adams, Editor of FlakPhoto, to curate our first ever online Benefit Auction through Paddle8. On occasion of the auction’s launch, we spoke with him about photography, supporting working artists, and his selection process. The auction runs from Nov. 25 – Dec. 10 and features a variety of limited-edition prints and signed photobooks. Read the conversation with Andy with below, then check out the auction.


Light Work: You clearly understand the importance of supporting artists and their work. Can you talk about some of your motivations for FlakPhoto and the work you do to give exposure to artists working today?

Andy Adams: It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been producing FlakPhoto for nearly a decade. The project has evolved steadily over the course of the past ten years but my goals have stayed the same — to bring attention to photographic image-makers whose work I admire and to provide a place for people who care about photography to come together to celebrate its various forms. This is a thrilling moment for photo/arts culture. I don’t think there’s been a better time to be into pictures.

We’re happy you’re such a fan of non-profit photography centers. Can you talk about some of the reasons you support organizations like Light Work?

The work you do for photographers is inspiring and incredibly important. It’s not easy to be a working artist. Places like Light Work are sanctuaries for creativity. Making time to do the work — to find a project’s focus — is more than half the battle. For artists, the opportunity to explore and realize ideas in the company of creative colleagues is a gift. Residency programs like Light Work’s are essential for visual artists.

Raymond Meeks,  Lara, Nova Scotia

Raymond Meeks, Lara, Nova Scotia, 2013

What are some of your favorite prints in Light Work’s Fine Print Program? Which would you love to have up on your wall?

There are so many — I’ve selected some of my favorites for the Paddle8 auction. I love this Raymond Meeks picture, is it his daughter? Who’s she running to (or is it someone she’s running from)? The Susan Worsham and Elijah Gowin prints would make a surprisingly perfect diptych: those hands are wonderful! These women will make sure everything turns out all right, I’m sure of it. I’ve been looking at the Christian Patterson pictures for days — I’m a sucker for bold expressions of color. Light Work has one hell of a print collection.

Christian Patterson,  Prarie Grass Leak

Christian Patterson, Prarie Grass Leak, 2009

You’ve made an exciting selection of signed books for the auction. How did you go about selecting them?

Easy. They’re books I’d like to own! Nathan Lyons’ Return Your Mind to Its Upright Position is on my holiday wish list and you can’t go wrong with John Gossage. I can vouch for Keliy Anderson-Staley’s On A Wet Boughit is terrific. I can’t really help myself—the others will end up in my home library soon enough. It’s only a matter of time.

Photobook Lot, curated by Andy Adams

Photobook Lot, curated by Andy Adams

Andy Adams is an independent producer + publisher whose work blends digital communication, online audience engagement, and web-based creative collaboration to explore current ideas in photography and visual media. He is the editor of FlakPhoto, a website that promotes the discovery of photographic image-makers from around the world. In his spare time he hosts the FlakPhoto Network, an online community focused on conversations about photo/arts culture. Visit Light Work’s Benefit Auction at

LaToya Ruby Frazier Uses Her Camera to Fight For Her Community

LaToya Ruby Frazier Uses Her Camera to Fight For Her Community
By Lauren Cavalli 
Images by Joe Librandi-Cowan

Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier’s first book, The Notion of Family, documents three generations of women in her family: Grandma Ruby, her Mom, and herself. Yet, it is no ordinary family album. After working for ten years on the project, the book was published in September by Aperture, a non-profit foundation that supports photographers.

On Oct. 30, Frazier read several passages from her book during a lecture she gave at the Robert B. Menschel Media Center at Syracuse University. The SU alum is primarily a photographer, but also works in performance art and videography.

In The Notion of Family, she captures the effects of the industrial landscape of Braddock Pennsylvania on its community and conveys this complex dynamic through an intimate portrait of her family. She focused on the social, economic, physical, and emotional toll of growing up with Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill, the Edgar Thomas Works, as a neighbor.

“The shadow of the steel mill hovered above us,” Frazier said. The mill, which has operated since 1875, omits toxins that slowly poison the community. “The haze that forms the sky is millions of tiny particles. They pass through my lungs into my bloodstream. Like carbon monoxide, they are odorless and have the potential to kill.”

In Oct. 2009, the community was informed that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) would close Braddock Hospital, said Frazier. She is unforgiving of the hospital’s abandoning of its people and showcases photos of her family receiving care for their illnesses, people protesting its closing, and now, how the hospital decays from lack of use after it closed its doors and stands as a memorial to economic decline.

She stressed the importance of keeping a critical eye on television, the news, radio, and social media and urged the audience to be aware of how they affect one’s notion of what constitutes us as people – race, class, gender and religion.

Frazier recalled when she first discovered that Andrew Carnegie library in Braddock omits all African Americans from the historic suburb’s history.

“Peoples’ histories and narratives are all constructed. It is important I insert myself into my history,” Frazier said.

Frazier stands up to institutional racism and environmental degradation with her camera. Her photos of her family are a testament to the community’s ability to endure.

“I want to shed light on invisible realities,” Frazier said.

In her hometown new housing projects are being built, more people will be able to live there, but with the closing of the hospital they have nowhere to go for healthcare in a polluted city. She told the audience of the progress that Braddock is making today; artists are moving in; retail stores are opening; cultural capitol is coming in.

“They don’t think I have a right to tell this story – I am making Braddock look bad. They say: we moved beyond this,” Frazier said.

She acknowledges that revitalization efforts are happening in Braddock, but remains critical. “A restaurant was put in the Braddock mayor’s apartment building. What we needed is a grocery store, not a restaurant we can’t afford,” Frazier said.

Frazier intends to continue telling the people of Braddock’s story by “photographing it, seeing it, speaking to it, and trying to educate.”

At the conclusion of the lecture, Frazier expressed her hopes of using the money from her book sales and her prints to one day start a foundation to advocate for, help, and support the families living in Braddock amongst the city’s blatant ironies today.

“This is more than just an art book, a photo book, its my photo history – an American life – my relationship with my family and my community,” Frazier said. “A descendant of Scottish, African, Braddonian, blue-collar, steel workers, I embrace my heritage.”