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Best of Show: Dan Lyon
Honorable Mention: Kate Hall, Sarah Vinette and Ally Walsh
With great pleasure, Light Work announces the 2021 Transmedia Photography Annual exhibition of photographs by seniors from the Art Photography program in the Department of Transmedia in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University.
The exhibiting artists are Sam Bennett, Li Chen, Kate Hall, Torian Love, Dan Lyon, Neva Knoll, Jillian McHugh, Natalie Richard, Alana Swaringen, Bailey Thurmond, Sarah Vinette and Ally Walsh
Gregory Eddi Jones, founding editor and publisher of In the In-Between, served as juror and selected images for Best of Show and Honorable Mention awards. Dan Lyon took Best of Show and Honorable Mention went to Kate Hall, Sarah Vinette, and Ally Walsh. Jones notes,
There is a tense anxiety in many of these photographs, and for good reason, given the turmoil of the world in recent past and the uncertainties of the future. Questions of “Who are we?” “Where are we coming from?” and “Where are we going?” are programmed into nearly all forms of critical photographic inquiry, and the work of these students is no exception. Answers to these questions might be found in the vast distance between people in Dan Lyon’s landscape photograph Purgatory, in which figures appear fragmented from one another in chasms of physical space but also perhaps psychic, spiritual, or political space. In Sarah Vinette’s Pool Party, a figure hopelessly static and caught between different worlds, sits still simply for lack of knowing what needs to be changed. In Kate Hall’s Lady in Blue, an indefinable expression anchors us in the unreality of the picture’s color scheme, pretending that nothing here is wrong. And in the worrying face of the subject in Ally Walsh’s Fire, which belies a historical portrait-form that traditionally has served as a tool to define the sitter as one of confident pride. I admire the honesty of these pictures as they make visible personal feelings of their authors while reflecting the uncertainties that we all share.
Professor Laura Heyman, coordinator of Transmedia’s Art Photography BFA program, says of this important yearly collaboration:
The annual Light Work exhibition is always an important experience for students working toward their senior thesis projects. These projects are year-long (and sometimes longer) in-depth photographic explorations of a self-chosen topic. In the process of working through their ideas, students often experiment with form and concept, and the projects change considerably over the course of the year. The Light Work exhibition is both a moment students begin to materialize their research more concretely, and a professional opportunity to have their work presented in a setting that’s widely known and well-respected. It’s also a great demonstration of the relationship between the art photography program and Light Work, as students have spent a good part of the past three years there, working in the lab, attending exhibitions and artist lectures, and often working with the artists in residence.
Over the years, art photography student projects have covered an incredible range of subjects, from deeply personal explorations of self and family, to topics like local environmental disasters and our current political landscape. This year is no different, but the Light Work exhibition feels more important than ever as a marker and in recognition of the amazing work our students are doing under very difficult, complicated circumstances.
Light Work’s close partnership with 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 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.
Gregory Eddi Jones is a photographic artist, writer, and publisher living between Philadelphia and New York. He holds a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology (2010), and an MFA from Visual Studies Workshop (2016). In addition to his photographic practice, Jones has contributed writing to Foam, Afterimage, Paper Journal, LensCulture, and Unseen Magazine. He is the Founding Editor and Publisher of In the In-Between, an independent platform for 21st century photographic authorship.