Announcing the 2016 Light Work Artists-in-Residence

Every year Light Work invites between twelve and fifteen artists to come to Syracuse to devote one month to creative projects. Over 400 artists have participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program, and many of them have gone on to achieve international acclaim.

The residency includes a $5,000 stipend, a furnished artist apartment, 24-hour access to our state-of-the-art facilities, and generous staff support. Work by each Artist-in-Residence is published in a special edition of Contact Sheet: The Light Work Annual along with an essay commissioned by Light Work. Work by former Artists-in-Residence is also part of the Light Work Collection.

We are pleased to announce the 2016 Light Work Artists-in-Residence!

Morgan Ashcom

Paul D’Amato

Eyakem Gulilat

John Mann

Marcia Michael

Regine Petersen

Takahiro Kaneyama

Richard Rothman

Christina Seely

Pacifico Silano

Mila Teshaieva

Suné Woods

See past Artists-in-Residence at
Applications are now open for 2017. Apply at

Find Light Work at NY Art Book Fair and VSW Pub Fair 2015

Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair 2015
22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101
September 18-20, 2015

Find Light Work at Booth V02!

Light Work is pleased to participate in this year’s NY Art Book Fair.

Come visit our table for a selection of SIGNED photobooks and collectible, limited-edition prints by artists. We’ll have a few special books and prints for sale at the fair, which are not available otherwise.

If you visit us, mention the date “1973” (the year we started supporting artists!) and we’ll give you a 10% discount on any purchase.

As a perk of the fair, all signed book and print purchases will include a complimentary one-year subscription to our publication Contact Sheet.


VSW Pub Fair
Visual Studies Workshop
31 Prince St, Rochester, NY 14607
September 26, 2015 from 12-6pm

Light Work is also happy to participate in this year’s VSW Pub Fair.

The third annual Pub Fair will bring together book artists, photographers, independent publishers, and DIYers to exhibit their work in a unique market showcasing the gamut of what publishing can be. Artist’s books, photobookworks, magazines, zines, digital publishing as well as resources for all of these will be on hand to peruse and purchase.

Did we mention food trucks on the lawn and beer inside? See you there.

Lecture and Panel Discussion in Conjunction with Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955-1989)

Light Work is pleased to announce a lecture and panel discussion in conjunction with the exhibition of Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955-1989).

Join us on Thursday, September 17th — the exhibition reception begins at 5:00pm in the Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery and panel/lecture begins at 6:15pm in Watson Theater at Light Work, Robert B. Menschel Media Center, 316 Waverly Avenue, Syracuse, NY.

Rotimi Fani-Kayode was a Nigerian-born photographer, who moved to England at the age of twelve to escape the Nigerian Civil War. Through his photography he explored the tensions created by sexuality, race and culture. The lecture/panel will be presented and moderated by M. Neelika Jayawardane, and includes guest speakers Remi Onabanjo, Elliot Ross, and Derica Shields.

M. Neelika Jayawardane is associate professor of English at the State University of New York-Oswego, and an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). She is a senior editor and contributor to the online magazine, Africa is a Country. Jayawardane was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in the Copperbelt Province in Zambia, and completed her university education in the United States. Her academic publications focus on the nexus between South African literature, photography, and the transnational/transhistorical implications of colonialism and apartheid on the body.

Remi Onabanjo is a Nigerian-born curator and art critic. She holds an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and is pursuing an MPhil in Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology at Oxford University. Raised in South Africa, Tanzania and the USA, she has assisted with exhibitions at the Museum of African Design (Johannesburg, South Africa) and with No Longer Empty (New York City, USA), curated group exhibitions in New York City, and is currently assisting with exhibitions at The Walther Collection and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her research interests are concerned with the photographic archive, the legacies of African art objects in museum collections, and gender and sexuality in contemporary art of Africa and the African diaspora.

Elliot Ross is a PhD candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and holds graduate degrees from the University of Cambridge and Columbia University. He was Fulbright-Alistair Cooke Scholar for 2010, and his writing on politics, culture and literature has appeared in publications such as The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, Guernica and The London Review of Books. He is senior editor at Africa is a Country, a web magazine of African political and cultural affairs. Elliot’s current research examines colonial reparations claims and questions of narrative.

Derica Shields is a writer, editor, and film curator from London who lives in New York. Her research interests include black diasporic literature, visual art, film, and futurisms. In 2013, she co-founded The Future Weird, a screening series where she brings together experimental films by black and brown directors with archival clips to curate screenings-cum-visual essays. At London’s 2014 Frieze Art Fair, Derica gave a talk for Rhizome and the ICA on the black woman cyborg in 1990s music videos, an idea which she is currently expanding for Tank Magazine, and Girls Like Us. She is a contributing editor at The New Inquiry and a story editor at Rookie Mag, although her favourite job as an independent researcher for a feature film about black British migrants in 1950s and ’60s London. She holds a degree in English from Cambridge University, and an MA in Africana Studies from Cornell.

This event is free and open to the public. Presented in partnership with Autograph ABP, London.

“Building a Sustainable Practice” with Creative Capital’s Ruby Lerner

The Syracuse Symposium, whose theme this year is “Networks,” gets underway with a presentation by one of the nation’s premier arts leaders.

Ruby Lerner, president and executive director of Manhattan-based Creative Capital, will present Building a Sustainable Practice on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 6:30 p.m. in Watson Theatre of the Robert B. Menschel Media Center.

Her lecture is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by Light Work, as well as the School of Art and the Department of Transmedia, both in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

“Ruby Lerner exemplifies the broad relevance of networks-specifically, their ability to offer new opportunities for collective action, artistic collaboration and alternative ways of thinking,” says Vivian May, director of the Humanities Center and associate professor of women’s and gender studies. “Her innovative work in cultural philanthropy has virtually re-defined the arts funding model.”

Lerner founded Creative Capital in 1999, largely in response to the National Endowment for the Arts’ shrinking support for individual arts. Since then, her organization has committed $35 million in financial and advisory support to 465 projects, representing some 580 artists, while its Professional Development Program has reached nearly 10,000 artists in over 400 communities.

Lerner is expected to discuss her signature four-pronged approach to arts funding: support the project, support the individual, build community and engage the public.

“Creative Capital began as an experiment to see how artists could benefit from the kind of opportunities afforded to entrepreneurs in other sectors,” she says. “Our pioneering system of supporting artists is inspired by the venture capital principles of building a long-term relationship with a project, providing funding at strategic moments and surrounding the project with critical resources, counsel and advisory services.”

For more information, call the Syracuse University Humanities Center
at 315-443-7192 or visit