Call for Entries: 2022 Light Work Grants in Photography

Light Work is pleased to announce the 2022 Light Work Grants in Photography competition. Three $3,000 grants will be awarded to photographers who reside within an approximate 50-mile radius of Syracuse, N.Y. The recipients of these grants are invited to display their work in a special exhibition, and their work will also be reproduced in Light Work’s award-winning publication, Contact Sheet: The Light Work Annual.

With the help of the regional grant, more than 130 artists have been able to continue long-term projects, purchase equipment, frame photographs for exhibitions, promote their work, or continue their artist goals.

Applicants must reside in one of the following Central New York counties: Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, St. Lawrence, Tioga, or Tompkins.

Three judges from outside the grant region will review the applications. Their selections are based on the strength of the candidate’s portfolio and completed application. Individuals who received this award in 2016 or earlier are eligible to re-apply. Full-time students are not eligible.

The deadline for 2022 Light Work Grants is April 1, 2022, 11:59 p.m. EST

Apply online at

Light Work is Hiring!
Associate Director (full-time)

Housed in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center at Syracuse University, Light Work is one of the country’s most respected art institutions. Founded as an artist-run, non-profit organization in 1973, Light Work provides direct support through residencies, publications, exhibitions, a digital lab facility, and other related projects to emerging and under-represented artists working in photography and digital imaging.

Position: Associate Director (Full-time)
Qualifications BFA or MFA in Photography preferred.

Priority Deadline: The position will remain open until filled. We will give priority to applications received before February 28, 2022.More Info

We are seeking a dynamic, highly qualified, experienced individual for the Associate Director’s position, and we strongly encourage applications from individuals of diverse cultural backgrounds. Reporting to the Director of Light Work, the Associate Director is a problem solver and creative thinker who is in tune with Light Work’s mission to support emerging and under-represented artists. The Associate Director is equal parts curator, organizer, and dot-connector. With the Director and Urban Video Project Program Director, the Associate Director rounds out the leadership team for Light Work. This individual is involved with decisions across all of Light Work’s programs with specific attention to relations with visiting artists, exhibition curation, and editing issues of Contact Sheet. They are central to the Artist-in-Residence selection process and Light Work Grants. They also take on day-to-day tasks and provide general support to Light Work’s Director. They will play a key role in advancing Light Work’s mission locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Light Work is an equal opportunity employer. Upon request, both Light Work and Syracuse University will provide accommodation to applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment, assessment, and selection process. Find more info at

Job Description

  • Responsibilities Curating two exhibitions per year and two exhibition catalogs (Contact Sheets). Write an introductory text for each publication.
  • Coordinate the operations and hospitality of Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence program including, booking and scheduling. Provide additional assistance to artists traveling internationally.
  • Editor of the Light Work Annual. Coordinate content from artists and authors. Liaison with designer, line editor, and staff in preparing the 140-page publication.
  • Plan and participate in Art Fairs like the Armory Show, AIPAD or Photo Paris/New York.
  • Organize Light Work Grant application and jury process

Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities. For a detailed position description and online application instructions, go to (Job #037978).  Cover letter and resume must be attached.  Review of applications begins immediately and the search will remain open until the position is filled.  Syracuse University is an AA/EOE.

Darryl Chappell Foundation in Partnership with Light Work
Announce Mentorship Opportunity

The Darryl Chappell Foundation and Light Work are excited to present an opportunity for an experienced photographer to serve as a mentor to two artists-in-residence sponsored by the Darryl Chappell Foundation. The artists will be participating in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program in April and June 2022 respectively. Both organization missions support the concept of providing residents with an experienced mentor to be funded by the Darryl Chappell Foundation to enhance the learning experience of the two residents. The power of a good mentor to share a word of wisdom, to connect the resident with a key resource, or simply to lend an ear is a powerful augment to the state-of-the-art onsite facilities and staff assistance offered by Light Work in Syracuse, New York.

This is a paid opportunity. Both organizations believe in the importance of compensating artists for their work.

The deadline for applying is Monday, February 21, 2022. To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and references to

Every year Light Work invites between 12 and 15 artists to come to Syracuse to devote one month to creative projects. More than 400 artists have participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program, and many of them have gone on to achieve international acclaim. The residency includes a stipend, a furnished artist apartment, 24-hour access to our state-of-the-art facilities, and generous staff support. Work by each Light Work AIR appears in a special edition of Contact Sheet: The Light Work Annual along with a commissioned essay.

About Darryl Chappell Foundation 

The mission and purpose of the Darryl Chappell Foundation is to foster an appreciation of the fine arts (for example, painting, drawing, sketching, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and metallurgy) among members of the African Diaspora (descendants of Sub-Saharan Africa) through grants, as well as to help foster an appreciation of the fine arts within the community. 

Light Work to Receive $25,000 Grant from NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts has approved Light Work for a $25,000 Grants for Arts Projects (GAP) award in the Visual Arts category. Light Work is extremely proud to be among 1,248 projects across America totaling $28,840,000 that were selected to receive this first round of FY 2022 funding. The Grant will directly support Light Work’s renowned residency program, offering support and visibility to emerging and under-recognized artists working in photography and image-based media.

Each year, following an international call for submissions, Light Work selects twelve to fifteen artists for a one-month residency to pursue creative projects. To date, more than 500 artists have participated in the residency program, and many have gone on to achieve international acclaim.

This grant signals national recognition that champions Light Work’s nearly 50-year legacy of advocacy through exhibitions, publication of Contact Sheet, a state-of-the-art community-access digital services lab, and permanent Collection comprising more than 4,000 photo-related objects and images.

“We are honored by this generous recognition from the NEA,” said Dan Boardman, Light Work’s director. “This funding helps us continue to create transformative moments for artists, gallery visitors, students, educators, and the public during this tenuous time in the arts community.”
Patron considers works by 2021 Light Work Grants recipient Paul Pearce at October opening reception

GAP awards reach communities in all parts of the country, large and small, and with diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. These awards represent fifteen artistic disciplines and fields: Artist Communities, Arts Education, Dance, Design, Folk & Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Local Arts Agencies, Media Arts, Museums, Music, Musical Theater, Opera, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works, Theater, and Visual Arts. Light Work extends our congratulations to all of the 2022 GAP Grants recipients for their great contributions in the field.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects that help support the community’s creative economy,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “Light Work in Syracuse, New York, is among the arts organizations nationwide that are using the arts as a source of strength, a path to well-being, and providing access and opportunity for people to connect and find joy through the arts. The supported projects demonstrate how the arts are a source of strength and well-being for communities and individuals, and can open doors to conversations that address complex issues of our time.”

For more information on other projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

About The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Congress established the NEA in 1965 as the independent federal agency whose funding and support allow Americans to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the skills in every community across America. Visit​ to learn more.