In response to concerns around COVID-19, Light Work has closed to the public and canceled all scheduled receptions and artist talks from Friday, March 13 until further notice.
Best of Show: Maranie Staab
Honorable Mention: Hannah Frankel, Joshua Ives and Sam Lee
Light Work presents the 2020 Newhouse Photography Annual, featuring work by photography students in S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. This exhibition comprises more than 30 thematically diverse photographs by Newhouse’s Multimedia Photography students. The exhibition represents various approaches to photographic practice and technique and showcases the range of images that today’s students are producing. Selected works will be on view in the Hallway Gallery at Light Work from March 23 – July 23, 2020.
The exhibiting artists are Michelle Abercrombie, Cher Beckles, Zoe Davis, Renee Deemer, Haoyu Deng, Crystal Fang, Sofia Faram, Madeline Foreman, Hannah Frankel, Chelsea Hurd, Joshua Ives, Aaron Kassman, Zach Krahmer, Jordan Larson, Sam Lee, Dan Lyon, Lauren Miller, Paul Nelson, Kai Nguyen, Laura Oliverio, Jessica Ruiz, Liam Sheehan, Maranie Staab, Doug Steinman and Jessica Stewart.
Journalist Michael Kamber, who founded Bronx Documentary Center, served as juror and selected images for Best of Show and Honorable Mention awards. Maranie Staab took Best of Show and Honorable Mentions went to Hannah Frankel, Joshua Ives, and Sam Lee. Kamber observes:
This was a really tough group to jury: the work was beautifully created, smart, and full of emotion. There were a half dozen photos that I went back and forth over trying to decide the winner. However, my background is in journalism and this dictated my final choices. For the first prize, I chose the photo of the Yazidi bride from Maranie Staab. The photo is an extremely powerful representation of all the Yazidis have been through—you can see the trauma and sadness in the bride’s face. Still, there is resilience, power, and a hint of anger to the moment as well. The composition—the bride surrounded by empty dresses—adds to the photo’s emotion. I also liked that the photo was captioned and gave me the crucial context I needed.
Hannah Frankel’s aging biker is beautifully seen—the photographer moving in close for a telling detail in wonderful light and shadow. As is often the case, this gives as much information—and makes a more striking photo—than a full-length portrait might. As for the chair in the storefront from Joshua Ives, I’m particularly drawn to social landscapes and I feel this photo is just such an image, with a strong, layered composition and excellent use of color that speaks of the America in which we live. Sam Lee’s photo of the young woman laying next to the man intrigues and strikes me on several levels. It is the type of deeply psychological portrait—with a wonderful composition—that leaves me wanting to know much more of their story: a very strong photo with great use of light, shadow, and shape. As I said, the selection of 30 photos that I saw, was very strong and marked, in particular, by an understanding of light, and of the moment. These are the elements that make a great photo—they are missing in much of the work I see these days and it is great to see them in evidence at Light Work.
S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications students are a vital part of the photography community on the Syracuse University campus. The Light Work staff and community congratulate all the students for their accomplishments and wish them bright futures in the field of photography.
Michael Kamber has worked as a journalist for more than 25 years. Between 2002 and 2012, Kamber worked for The New York Times, covering international conflicts including those in Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Liberia, Somalia, and Sudan. He has also worked as a writer and videographer for the Times, which twice nominated his work for the Pulitzer Prize. Nearly every major news magazine in the United States and Europe has published his photos, as well as many newspapers. In 2011, Kamber founded the Bronx Documentary Center, a space dedicated to education and social change through photography and film.