Light Work Launches 2022 Subscription Program

Great Cause. Great Art. Light Work’s mission is to provide direct support to artists working in photography and related media through residencies, publications, exhibitions, and a community-access lab facility. Our Fine Print Program, which features striking limited-edition, signed prints, is an accessible way to expand your art collection while championing our mission of offering opportunities to emerging, under-recognized, and historically excluded artists.

2022 Benefactors Offer

Abelardo Morell
Atong Atem
Sharon Harper
Meryl Meisler
Odette England, Dairy Character
Contact Sheet (5 editions annually)

Benefactors Offer: Contributors of $1,500 will receive Abelardo Morell’s image from the Master Print Edition, all three prints in our Fine Print Program Atong AtemSharon Harper, and Meryl Meisler, and a signed copy of Dairy Character by Odette England. In total, a $2,005 value! By participating you will save on the cost of the prints and book, and receive a one-year subscription to Contact Sheet.

Individual prints may also be purchased in the Light Work Shop

2022 Master Print Edition
Abelardo Morell

Camera Obscura – Late Afternoon View of the East Side of Midtown Manhattan, 2014
Archival inkjet print, 11 x 14.125″ on 13 x 17″ paper
Edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist

Purchase in the Light Work shop

Abelardo Morell’s images reveal the extraordinary in the familiar. Morell writes, “The pictures I made around the house when I first became a father have influenced much of the work that I do today―from looking at a book with the curiosity of a child to turning ordinary rooms into giant cameras. ”The image Camera Obscura – Late Afternoon View of the East Side of Midtown Manhattan, 2014 is one example of his prolific series, Camera Obscura. “Over time, this project has taken me from my living room to all sorts of interiors around the world. One of the satisfactions I get from making this imagery comes from my seeing the weird and yet natural marriage of the inside and outside.”

2022 Fine Print Program
Atong Atem

Fruit of the Earth, 2016
Archival inkjet print, 15 x 10” on 17 x 13” paper
Edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist

Purchase in the Light Work shop

Atong Atem is a South Sudanese artist and writer from Bor now living in Narrm (unceded Aboriginal land outside Melbourne, Australia). Atem’s photos explore the experiences of young immigrants, and how they knit together the different cultures that surround them. She focuses on migrant narratives, postcolonial practices in the diaspora, the relationship between public and private spaces, and identity through portraiture. Her distinctive artistic practice combines both photography and hand painting, incorporating bold color and pattern inspired by her South Sudanese background. Atem recently exhibited at Brisbane Powerhouse Museum, where she won the inaugural MELT Portrait Prize. Atem participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program in June 2018.

Sharon Harper

One Month, Weather Permitting, 2009 Night Sky Over Banff, Alberta, September 12 – October 10, 2017
12 September 13 September
Archival inkjet print, 11 x 14″
Edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist

Purchase in the Light Work shop

Sharon Harper’s work explores technology and perception. She uses photography and video experimentally to create poetic connections between ourselves and the environment. Permanent collections that hold Harper’s work include the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, Denver Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art/New York City, Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, The New York Public Library, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and The Whitney Museum of American Art. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography, the Meredith S. Moody Residency Fellowship and the Elizabeth Ames Residency Fellowship at Yaddo, and the Sam and Dusty Boynton Residency Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center. 

Meryl Meisler

Reclining in tree by Goddard Riverside Community Center NY, NY, June 1978
Archival inkjet print, 8 x 8″ on 11 x 14″ paper
Edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist

Purchase in the Light Work shop

Meryl Meisler was born 1951 in the Bronx and grew up on Long Island, NY. Meisler frequented and photographed the legendary New York City discos. A 1978 CETA Artist Grant supported her portfolio on Jewish identity. Upon retiring from 31 years as a New York City public school art teacher, she began releasing previously unseen work, including her books, A Tale of Two Cities: Disco Era Bushwick (Bizarre, 2014), Purgatory & Paradise: SASSY ‘70s Suburbia & The City (Bizarre, 2015) and New York PARADISE LOST: Bushwick Era Disco (forthcoming 2021). Meisler has received support from Artists Space, CETA, China Institute, Japan Society, LMCC, Leonian Foundation, Light Work, NYFA, Puffin Foundation, VCCA, and Yaddo. She has exhibited at the Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Museum, Dia Art Foundation, MASS MoCA, New Museum, New York Historical Society, and Whitney Museum. Collections that hold her work include AT&T, American Jewish Congress, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Brooklyn Historical Society, Columbia University, Emory University, Islip Art Museum, Library of Congress, Pfizer, and Reuters. Meisler lives in New York City and Woodstock, NY. ClampArt represents her work.

2021 Book Collectors Offer
Dairy Character (SIGNED)
Odette England

Odette England, Dairy Character
Saint Lucy 2021
188 Pages 
First Edition | Signed by the artist

Purchase Book in the Light Work shop

Dairy Character is a loose chronicle of England’s experience growing up on a rural dairy farm in southern Australia. Combining recent photographs, family snapshots, archival images, and autobiographical short stories, England examines the male-dominated farming community where she was raised and the gender-based repression that rural women and girls experience. Her images and texts evoke a girl introduced to reproductive labor at an early age. A girl who wanted a pink room. A girl fenced in by interconnecting forms of vulnerability. A girl who had a cow named after her. Odette England is the recipient of the 2021 Light Work Photobook Award.

Contact Sheet Subscription
5 Printed Issues Per Year

2022 Subscriptions include issues 210-214. Product image for illustration purposes only

Contact Sheet is where lovers of photography, from museum professionals to avid amateurs to collectors, turn to see the latest work by important emerging and mid-career artists from around the world. Contact Sheet is designed and printed in the tradition of fine art photography monographs and is completely commercial free. Many important photographers have been included in the early stages of their careers, including Cindy Sherman, Andres Serrano, Carrie Mae Weems, Suzanne Opton, Hank Willis Thomas, Lisa M. Robinson, and more.

A one-year subscription to Contact Sheet includes five issues. Four of the issues are single-artist catalogues featuring work that is exhibited in our main gallery. The fifth issue is The Light Work Annual, which features imagery by artists invited to participate in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program. The Light Work Annual is our biggest issue of the year, both in number of pages and the exposure it gives to our emerging artists.

Jeffrey Hoone retires after leading Light Work for 41 years

Over the past year there had been several significant leadership changes at Light Work. In January 2021 director Shane Lavalette left to start Assembly, a commercial venture, that supports artists through exhibitions, commissions, and publications. At that time, lab manager Dan Boardman was promoted to acting director, and after a national search, he was hired as Director in July 2021. When that transition was complete, executive director Jeffrey Hoone retired after 41 years in a leadership position at Light Work.

Boardman brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Light Work. An accomplished working artist, he was a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow in 2013, and has exhibited his work widely, including at The Bakalar & Paine Galleries (Boston), Harvard University, and The Mills Gallery at The Boston Center for the Arts. Boardman was a Light Work artist-in-residence and also Light Work’s lab manager for several years. He and his wife, Coco, also a photographer, live outside Syracuse with their young son, Henry.

“Dan is the perfect pick to lead Light Work into the future,” says Jeff Hoone. “He understands the organization from an artists’ perspective and how to run a hands-on operation. His entrepreneurial instincts are excellent. He grasps the big picture goals of supporting emerging and underrecognized artists. I had the pleasure to mentor Dan as he stepped into this job―Light Work is fortunate to have such a competent, committed, and compassionate leader. I look forward to seeing how he builds on Light Work’s strong foundation.”

“Jeff Hoone’s impact on the field of photography is significant and far-reaching,” says Boardman. “His accomplishments measure beyond the scope of this statement, and will endure for decades to come.”

Jeffrey Hoone became assistant director of Light Work in 1980 and over the next two years worked with both founding co-directors, Phil Block and Tom Bryan, during a period of reorganization. Bryan left to become a full-time sheep farmer and Block moved to the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City. In 1982, Hoone became director and Light Work’s only full-time employee.

Jeffrey Hoone pictured with a photograph of Light Work co-founders Phil Block and Tom Bryan

Over the next four years, Hoone and his work-study students expanded the artist-in-residence program to nearly 12 artists a year, making it Light Work’s signature program and defining the core mission to support artists in making new work. Emerging artists such as Dawoud Bey, Bill Burke, James Casebere, Barbara Ess, Melissa Shook, and Joel Sternfeld participated in these early years.

“My Light Work residency was the first I had ever done,” says Dawoud Bey. “The impact of that one month was considerable, leading to my inclusion in a major museum exhibition through the publication of my work in Contact Sheet. Light Work has provided immeasurable and constant support to those of us working in photography for decades now and Jeff Hoone has achieved a singular thing in building that organization.”

There are pivotal events for many organizations that help propel them forward. For Light Work it was being introduced to Robert B. Menschel. In the mid-80s, Hoone invited Mr. Menschel to meet in person and learn more about Light Work. Menschel was an alumnus and trustee of Syracuse University, a successful financier, and a photography collector. From that pivotal meeting came Menschel’s promise of a grant from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation so that Light Work could hire an assistant director. Menschel’s continued annual support has anchored Light Work’s financial success and stability.

There would never have been a Light Work without Jeff’s commitment and dedication,” says Menschel now. “His leadership created and sustained the longest-running photography publication. He will be sorely missed.

Under Hoone’s leadership Light Work completed a major $3.5 million renovation if its facility in 2001 and renamed the complex the Robert B. Menschel Media Center in gratitude for his generosity. Menschel also convinced noted architect Richard Meier to contribute design elements to the Center and was instrumental in artist and SU alum Sol LeWitt’s donation of a wall drawing for the building’s entrance. Hoone worked closely with Syracuse architect and SU alum Mike Wolniak to create an award-winning and highly functional creative space for artists.

In 2012, several years after completing the renovation of the Robert B. Menschel Media Center, Hoone personally established an endowment for the new main Gallery in the facility and named it after his mother Kathleen O. Ellis. The Ellis Gallery remains Light Work’s premiere Gallery and every exhibition is accompanied by an issue of Contact Sheet.

Kathleen O. Ellis seated front row at Light Work during reception and artist talk with 2018 exhibiting artist Keisha Scarville.

During his time in a leadership position at Light Work Hoone has kept the needs of artists front and center in Light Work’s priorities. Like many alternative arts organizations, Light Work began from an activist position to address inequities in how established institutions served artists as well as other larger social concerns of equity and inclusion. A priority during Hoone’s tenure has been Light Work’s commitment to diverse approaches to the medium and to welcome artists from all backgrounds, beliefs, and sexual orientations.

Hoone also expanded Light Work’s Contact Sheet from a small broadsheet to the full-color publication that today goes to more than 2,000 subscribers, institutions, artists, and art professionals in every state and 41 other countries. Contact Sheet receives support from Light Work’s subscription and fine print program and an enviable roster of support from national foundations, government agencies, and Syracuse University.

Since the 1970s, Light Work has asked visiting artists to contribute work made during their residency. . After many years these contributions had grown into an impressive collection and Hoone directed a decades-long process of cataloguing and storing the collection in order to meet industry standards. Over these decades, Light Work pioneered the creation of a searchable public image database that now holds more than 4,000 photographs and objects in the collection on the Light Work website. Light Work supported many artists early in their careers who have gone on to become important contributors to contemporary art. These include Andres Serrano, Fazal Sheikh, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, and James Welling, among many others.

Under Hoone’s leadership Light Work has been honored for its excellence and received top grants for many years from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and several national foundations. He also helped to establish four endowment funds at Light Work totaling close to three-million dollars. These funds will provide stability for the organization as it moves into the future, and is a luxury that few small artist-run organizations can claim.

Hoone always had an eye on the big picture and when Nancy Cantor became chancellor of Syracuse University in 2004 Hoone worked with her to form the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC) and became its first executive director. CMAC brought together the art centers and museums on campus and in the local community in collaboration to expand public awareness, understanding, appreciation, and involvement in the visual and electronic arts. At that time, Hoone became executive director of Light Work and Hannah Frieser joined the staff as director to handle day-to-day operations.

As CMAC’s executive director, Hoone created the University’s first official art museum by combining the University Art Collection with the Lowe Art Gallery to form the SUArt Galleries. Last year the trustees approved renaming SUArt as the Syracuse University Art Museum and museum accreditation is underway. Hoone led the search committee that hired Vanja Malloy as the new director and chief curator of the Museum.

Jeffrey Hoone on his 65th birthday in 2020. Photo by Carrie Mae Weems

Hoone had a great vision for the potential of the arts and turned a fledgling video program at the Connective Corridor into the Urban Video Project (UVP), an internationally acclaimed electronic public art project. Anneka Herre directs the UVP, which projects videos on the Everson Museum’s north façade. He also helped create a permanent home at the Cantor Warehouse for the Photography and Literacy (PAL) project started by the late Stephen Mahan, which teaches literacy skills to school children through photography. Located downtown, the Cantor Warehouse also currently houses CMAC’s Point of Contact Gallery along with other community art spaces.

Light Work is now preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023 and Hoone anticipates spending time working with the Light Work staff on developing programs, events, and publications to celebrate that occasion. After 20 years on the board, Hoone also now serves as president of the foundation, Joy of Giving Something (JGS), which provides support to Light Work, UVP, the PAL project, and other photography organizations across the country to support emerging and under-recognized artists.

A working artist for much of his life, Hoone has exhibited his work extensively, served on peer review panels for the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and received a photography fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Hoone lives in Syracuse with his wife of 26 years, Carrie Mae Weems, who came to Light Work as a visiting artist in 1988. He will continue to work with her on the organization of her studio and as a board member of her non-profit organization, Social Studies 101.

In the end, Light Work’s most tremendous impact is on the artists,” says associate director Mary Lee Hodgens. “They always tell us what a pivotal time this was. We were just at the Armory show in New York City and several former AIRs came up to us. One had tears in their eyes and said, ’I was ready to give up when my residency came through.’

Header image credit: Colin Davy, courtesy of The Daily Orange