Best of Show: Tyanna Seton
Honorable Mentions: Mollie Crandell, Charlotte Lester, Siyaka Taylor-Lewis
Light Work is pleased to announce the 2019 Transmedia Photography Annual exhibition, featuring photographs by seniors from the Art Photography program in the Department of Transmedia within College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University.
Exhibiting students include: Pat Boland, Chloe Conklin Woodrow, Mollie M. Crandell, Catherine E. Doherty, Nicolo Orson Gilmore, Charlotte Lester, Nick Polyzoides, Tyanna Asia Seton, Siyaka Taylor-Lewis, and Junxiu Wang.
Barbara Tannenbaum, Chair of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, and Curator of Photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art, served as juror to select images for Best of Show and Honorable Mention awards. Tyanna Seton took Best of Show and Honorable Mentions went to Mollie M. Crandell, Charlotte Lester, and Siyaka Taylor-Lewis. As Tannenbaum notes,
Beginning artists, whether painters, writers, or photographers, are often told to start by making art about the things they know. But it is hard to see one’s backyard, family member, friend, or neighborhood, with fresh eyes. Harder still to bring the viewer—who is a stranger—into that world and make them feel like a participant rather than a voyeur. Yet that is what Tyanna Seton, Mollie Crandell, and Charlotte Lester, and Siyaka Taylor-Lewis have accomplished. Each chose to address one of the most complex subjects: the human condition.
Tyanna Seton’s untitled video boldly plunges into the troubled relationship between the artist and her father and develops the narrative through a complex sequence of still images, video, and audio. This emotionally nuanced tale doesn’t offer resolution, but it does hold out hope. Mollie Crandell’s Chaos 2 captures a moment of adolescent confusion and dismay and proves that turmoil can come even into a well-ordered home. Her surreal Suffocation suggests an even greater state of peril. Charlotte Lester’s Caked depicts a subject slightly unbalanced by their situation. This portrait contrasts sharply with the strength of character expressed in Siyaka Taylor-Lewis’s intense images of his mother in the piece, King Ricky.
These artists were all risk takers. They gambled on the arduous task of establishing a moment of intimacy between viewer and subject. And because every portrait reflects not just its subject but also its maker, between viewer and artist.
Professor Laura Heyman, of the Department of Transmedia, spoke to the importance of the annual collaboration, saying,
On any given day students may be working alongside major international artists, forging important relationships and learning how to print, edit, and exhibit work by watching working artists do the same thing. Students get to test these skills in the annual TRM Light Work exhibition, which is not only the first exhibition for many art photography majors, but also an important learning opportunity for them. In addition to giving students the space to imagine how their thesis work might develop over the following months, the TRM Annual show introduces their work to their peers, the local community, and the renowned curators and critics who jury the exhibition.
Light Work’s close partnership with the Syracuse University, Department of Transmedia provides Art Photography students full access to our production facilities, lectures, and workshops. Many students work with Light Work throughout their undergraduate careers and become an integral source of the energy, passion, and excitement that define our organization. The Light Work staff and community congratulate all of the seniors on their accomplishments and wish them the best in their bright futures within the field of Photography.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Photography emphasizes creativity, intellectual development, and the acquisition of skills to build professional, technical, and visual abilities within the broad and varied field of Photography. Art Photography students exhibit their work nationally; and establish careers working with museums, magazines, fashion, advertising, photo studios, art galleries, educational institutions, and other visual industries.
Our distinguished juror for the 2019 Transmedia Photography Annual exhibition, Barbara Tannenbaum, joined the Cleveland Museum of Art as curator of photography in 2011 after a distinguished career at the Akron Art Museum. For 26 years, she headed that institution’s curatorial area, including a decade leading a department that combined the curatorial and education staffs. At Akron, Tannenbaum organized over 80 exhibitions, more than half focusing on photography and video. The groundbreaking A History of Women Photographers chronicled women’s achievements in fine art photography. Upon arriving at the Cleveland Museum of Art, she organized the first museum exhibition of print-on-demand photobooks, DIY: Photographers & Books and wrote the accompanying catalogue. Current and future exhibition projects explore Frank Gohlke and Emmet Gowin’s photographs of the aftermath of the Mount St. Helens eruption; the photographs and videos of Hank Willis Thomas; and the museum’s holdings of American Pictorialist photography. Tannenbaum holds a BA in art history from Reed College and an MA and PhD in modern and contemporary art from the University of Michigan. She is current on the National Advisory Board of Photolucida, Portland, Oregon, and is a trustee of The Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation. Before entering the museum world, Tannenbaum was director of the OxBow Summer School of Art and taught at Oberlin College, the University of Wyoming, the University of Illinois, Chicago, and the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.