Capturing Identity: Selections from the Light Work Collection

August 15 – December 14, 2012
Robert B. Menschel Gallery
Schine Student Center

Light Work is pleased to present Capturing Identity: Selections from the Light Work Collection in the Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery. This exhibition, curated from the Light Work Collection by Museum Studies candidate Lindsay Erhardt, features work by Barry Anderson, Justyna Badach, Michael Buhler-Rose, Neil Chowdhury, Kelli Connell, Jen Davis, Rachel Herman, Laura Heyman, Ayana V. Jackson, Shane Lavalette, Ohm Phanphiroj, and Michael Tummings.

Identity can be personal, cultural, and religion-based, or determined by a relationship. It can be something forced upon you, defined for you, decided by you, and taken from you; yet, in many ways one’s identity is ever-changing and therefore indefinable. Through portraiture, and using photography as the tool, many artists today are asking us to question how we identify others and ourselves. Their imagery, consequently, is redefining and challenging our stereotypes and our understanding. It is important that artists take on this challenge—they become a vessel to bring about change, even if this change happens to the smallest degree.

These images are connected by pursuit of the distinguishable, the classifiable—identity. They are meant to stir something inside us—when we look upon them, we are made to think, question, challenge our upbringing and what we have been told. As we gaze upon them, they will gaze back. All of these photographs have and bestow power and it is left up to us what we do with it.

Photographs in this exhibition come from the Light Work Collection. With donations from the Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) or artists receiving a Light Work Grant, the collection is constantly growing. It contains all original work, including color and black-and-white photographic prints, alternative processes, as well as computer generated imagery, collages, artist books, and installation pieces. The collection can be viewed and accessed through the online database via the Light Work website. Having a permanent collection exemplifies Light Work’s commitment to contemporary photography and the creative process.

Light Work invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition and facility. Light Work is a nonprofit, artist-run organization dedicated to the support of artists working in photography and electronic media. Light Work is a member of CMAC, the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers at Syracuse University.

For more information, please contact Jessica Reed at Light Work, 315-443-1300 or