Light Work Announces 2022 Grants in Photography

Light Work announces the 48th annual Light Work Grants in Photography. The 2022 award recipients are Carlton Daniel, Jr., Lacey McKinney, and Sarah Phyllis Smith. Additionally, judges awarded Honorable Mentions to Bridget Badore, Christine Chin, and Joshua Ives. The Light Work Grants in Photography are part of Light Work’s ongoing effort to provide support and encouragement to Central New York artists working in photography within a fifty-mile radius of Syracuse. Daniel and McKinney hail from Syracuse in Onondaga County and Smith from Utica in Oneida County.

Established in 1975, the Light Work Grants program is one of the longest-running photography fellowships in the country. Each recipient receives a $3,000 stipend and appears in Contact Sheet: The Light Work AnnualA group exhibition of grant recipients’ work will be on view in the Hallway Gallery as part of the opening exhibition for the Fall 2022 season. This year’s judges were Ryan Arthurs (visual artist, curator, and founder of Rivalry Projects), Tara Johnson  (Visuals Director at Vanity Fair), and Efrem Zelony-Mindell (curator, writer, artist, and contributor to DEAR DAVE, FOAM, Rocket Science Magazine, SPOT, and Unseen). 

Light Work is pleased to announce this year’s grant recipients:

Carlton Daniel, Jr. (Syracuse, Onondaga County)

Carlton Daniel, Jr. imagines Black futurity through his lens as a queer storyteller. Daniel’s multidisciplinary approach engages, interrogates, and is grounded in Afro-diasporic identity, sexuality, and Black love. He navigates storytelling through film, photography, and innovative technologies, using the camera to document the lived experiences of Black Americans. By using the past to inform our present, and the present to inform our future, he envisions worlds that center joy, healing, and care. 

Lacey McKinney (Syracuse, Onondaga County)

Lacey McKinney’s solo and duo exhibitions include the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse), Mana Contemporary (Jersey City, NJ), and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has shown her work throughout New York State, Virginia, and Washington, notably at NARS Foundation (Brooklyn), Novado Gallery (Jersey City, NJ), Pen & Brush (New York City), Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center (Auburn, NY), and Urban Zen (New York City). Numerous private collections hold her work, which has also appeared in ARTnews, Art Zealous, Cultured Magazine, and Huffington Post. Her residencies include Fremantle Arts Centre (Fremantle, Western Australia), McColl Center for Art + Innovation (Charlotte, NC), and Post Contemporary (Troy, NY). In 2020 the New York Foundation for the Arts awarded her a Keep NYS Creating grant.

Sarah Phyllis Smith (Utica, Oneida County)

Sarah Phyllis Smith is a photographer, educator, and assistant professor of photography at PrattMWP in Utica. Recent notable solo exhibitions include Respite at Whitespace in Atlanta, GA, and Where the Great Lakes Leap to the Sea at The Shed Space in Brooklyn, NY. She has also recently shown her work at Ground Floor Gallery (Nashville), Perspectives Gallery at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Roman Susan Gallery (Chicago), Space 204 at Vanderbilt University (Nashville), Wedge Projects (Chicago), and Whitespace Gallery (Atlanta). Online and print publications featuring her work include Don’t Take Pictures Magazine, From Here On Out, Incandescent Magazine, Lenscratch, Light Leaked, Musée Magazine, Silver Eye Center for Photography, and Vulgaris Magazine. The Iranian literary magazine, Dastan, featured her work on their cover. Smith also curates Study Hall, a pedagogical project and contemporary photography gallery at PrattMWP, where she recently presented at the national conference for the Society for Photographic Education. Smith has been invited to give a workshop at the Tasmeem 2022: Radical Futures conference in Doha Qatar.

Artist to Artist: Light Work’s Fine Print Program

Rivalry Projects is sharing a new exhibition in collaboration with Light Work (Syracuse, NY) and their renowned Fine Print Program. In this exclusive partnership with Rivalry Projects, Light Work will be offering affordable photographs from leading contemporary artists including Keliy Anderson-Staley, Atong Atem, Doug DuBois, Lucas Foglia, Jason Fulford, Sharon Harper, Shane Lavalette, Wayne Lawrence, Irina Rozovsky, Miki Soejima, Rodrigo Valenzuela, and Vasantha Yogananthan. 

On view in Rivalry’s Project Space from May 13-June 30, 2022, Artist to Artist highlights artwork available through the Fine Print Program and makes collecting photography a very real possibility for everyone. Each artist has donated their pieces in support of Light Work’s mission, and through the generosity of these artists Rivalry Projects and Light Work are able to offer them at affordable prices. 

Artwork will be available to purchase from May 13 onward in-person at Rivalry Projects. You can also find participating artists and available work on our Artsy page. You can find all available works from the catalog of Light Work’s Fine Print Program through their website at www.lightwork.org 

As an added component of this partnership, Rivalry Projects will also offer issues of Contact Sheet, Light Work’s single photographer-focused magazine, which they publish five times per year. Rivalry will also be signing up those interested for Contact Sheet subscriptions. Please note: each subscription directly supports Light Work’s programs, including residencies, exhibitions, and publications. 

Rivalry Projects is a commercial art gallery and arts production space located at 106 College Street in Buffalo’s historic Allentown neighborhood.

Artist and curator Ryan Arthurs founded Rivalry to create an arts space that can function as both a site of exhibition and production of contemporary art. Rivalry exhibits emerging, mid-career, and under-represented artists working in all media.

Light Work is an artist-run, non-profit organization founded in 1973. Its mission is to provide direct support through residencies, publications, exhibitions, a community-access digital lab facility, and other related projects to emerging and under-represented artists working in photography and digital imaging. 

In 1991, Light Work began to offer limited-edition prints and signed books through their subscription program for the first time. This program remains a unique way for artists they’ve supported to give back to the next generation of artists coming through their programs. Over the past twenty-three years, Light Work’s Fine Print Program has included works by many important contemporary artists, including Dawoud Bey, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Mark Steinmetz, Carrie Mae Weems, William Wegman, James Welling, Deborah Willis, and Hank Willis-Thomas.

Light Work Congratulates 2022 Guggenheim Fellows

Five Light Work Artists-in-Residence among 2022 Guggenheim Fellows

Light Work offers enthusiastic congratulations to current Light Work artist-in-residence Gary Burnley (2022), former residency participants Kelli Connell (2008), Odette England (2021), Nancy Floyd (1998), and former AIR and Kathleen Ellis Gallery exhibiting artist Keliy Anderson-Staley (2010, 2011) for being named 2022 Guggenheim Fellows. The Guggenheim is one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for scholarly and artistic achievement, honoring individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

In all, this year’s recipients represent fifty-one scholarly disciplines and artistic fields, eighty-one academic institutions, thirty-one states and the District of Columbia, and four Canadian provinces. Many Guggenheim recipients respond directly to issues like climate change, pandemics, Russia, feminism, identity, and racism in their projects. The exceptionally rigorous application and peer review process selects each year’s recipients from almost 2,500 applicants on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.

“Now that the past two years are hopefully behind all of us, it is a special joy to celebrate the Guggenheim Foundation’s new class of Fellows,” said Edward Hirsch, President of the Guggenheim Foundation and 1985 Fellow in Poetry. “This year marks the Foundation’s 97th annual Fellowship competition. Our long experience tells us what an impact these annual grants will have to change people’s lives. The work supported by the Foundation will aid in our collective effort to better understand the new world we’re in, where we’ve come from, and where we’re going. It is an honor for the Foundation to help the Fellows carry out their visionary work.”

We can proudly offer a signed fine print, photobook, and Contact Sheet volumes that feature works by this year’s Guggenheim recipients. Proceeds benefit and champion Light Work’s ongoing support of emerging and under-represented artists working in photography through residencies, publications, exhibitions, educational programming, and a community-access digital lab facility. Search all our offerings at lightwork.org/shop.


Odette England
2021 Residency / 2021 Photobook Award Recipient

Odette England, Dairy Character
Saint Lucy Books / Light Work
188 pages / First Editon
Signed by the artist

Odette England is an artist and writer who uses photography, performance, writing, and the archive to explore themes of autobiography, land, gender, and ritual. She edited the critically acclaimed book, Keeper of the Hearth: Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph (Schilt, 2020). Public collections holding England’s work include the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, George Eastman Museum, Museum of Contemporary Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and Texas A&M University. In 2021, Radius Books published her collaboration with Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Past Paper // Present Marks: Responding to Rauschenberg. England was an artist-in-residence at Light Work in 2021.


Keliy Anderson-Staley
2010 Residency / 2011 Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery

Keliy Anderson-Staley, Kevin, 2010
Pigmented inkjet print (from a wet-plate collodion tintype), 10 x 8″
Edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist

[Hyphen] Americans
Contact Sheet 163: Keliy Anderson-Staley
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Light Work (September 1, 2011)

For her series [Hyphen] Americans, Keliy Anderson-Staley created a vast, broadly diverse collection of portraits with the wet-plate collodion process, using nineteenth-century chemical recipes, period brass lenses, and large wooden view cameras. Each individual—identified only by a first name—asserts his or her self, resisting any imposed external categorizing system. At once contemporary and timeless, these portraits raise questions about our place as individuals in history and the role that photographic technologies have played over time in defining identity.


You can find works by and essays about 2022 Guggenheim recipients in Contact Sheet Annuals 102, 152, 162, and 163. Light Work designs and prints Contact Sheet in the tradition of fine art photography monographs and is completely commercial-free. We invite you to see first-hand the innovative and creative work of artists who are making important contributions to the field of photography.

Over Light Work’s nearly fifty year history, thirty-six of our artists-in-residence, photobook award recipients, and exhibiting artists have received the Guggenheim Fellowship. These include Sama Al Shaibi, Dawoud Bey, Doug DuBois, John Gossage, Elijah Gowin, Deana Lawson, Christian Patterson, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Cindy Sherman, Cauleen Smith, Mark Steinmetz, Rodrigo Valenzuela, and Hank Willis Thomas. We are humbled and honored to provide time, space, and resources for so many of these artists early in—and throughout—their careers. We extend our congratulations to all the 2022 Guggenheim recipients on joining this illustrious body of artists and the legacy that represents. 


See the list of new Fellows here.

Review: Carl Mellor on Melissa Catanese’s The Lottery

This review is written by Carl Mellor, a freelance writer. He covered visual arts for the Syracuse New Times from 1994 to June 2019. Mellor continues to write about exhibits and artists in the Syracuse, New York area.

The Lottery, Melissa Catanese’s solo exhibit in Light Work’s Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery, gathers together disparate and seemingly unrelated images from archival sources and the artist’s own work. Indeed, the show moves from a gray view of ocean waves to the striking color of poppy fields, from angry molten lava to a placid but ominous iceberg, from oil erupting from a derrick to rows of motor vehicles linked to no one.

Photos of humans also have no obvious connections at first glance. There are images of a man swimming furiously, of two men scaling a huge sand dune, of a crowd in the street celebrating the end of World War II, of a figure kneeling down by a prone individual. Perhaps he’s helping someone who fell from a bike or was injured during a sports event. We don’t know.

And yet, there’s no basis for assuming that the exhibition is focusing on life as random and absurd. Catanese is playing a very different game. She’s created a visual idiom to deal with a time of struggle and anxiety, a period of political strife, and an unprecedented environmental crisis. Global warming and climate change pose myriad threats: potential extinction of species including right whales, flooding of communities ranging from Pacific islands to New York City neighborhoods, and much more.

Catanese, for her part, isn’t erecting signposts listing reasons for alienation. Rather, her show hints, suggests, engages with the question of why so many people feel unhappy and confused. The images work together to influence viewers in a subtle way.

For sure, the show has key images that help develop central themes. Thus, a mushroom cloud speaks to nuclear weapons and the specter of nuclear war, while rocks speckled with gold color refer to radiation.

image: Melissa Catanese, Figure #2

In addition, The Lottery delves into our relationship with nature. Various photos portray an active volcano and lightning strikes, as well as oceans, the primal source of all life on earth. One of the best images depicts a large rock situated on water, framed by shadows.

Elsewhere, two cormorants stand on land, not far from each other. They aren’t near the fish they feed on. And kelp washed ashore makes its own point. Kelp forests underwater trap and store carbon dioxide. It’s estimated that such forests are declining at two percent a year.

Certainly, the show communicates a sense of people struggling with isolation. We see a lone figure mountain climbing and another solitary individual running aimlessly on a rock formation near water. In a third photo, two people embrace, but we barely see their faces.

Yet another direction emerges in a large photo of a crowd packed into an auditorium. Although their faces are visible, few smile, many look as they would prefer to be elsewhere, and there’s a sense of unease and discomfort. This may not be a mob, but it’s painfully close. At the very least, there’s no sense of community.

Beyond that, the photographer took great care in organizing the portfolio of images that appears at Light Work. She mixes black-and-white and color photos, large and small prints, and images from various decades. On one wall, the photos begin at eye level and descend almost to the floor, influencing viewers to look up and down.

Catanese also builds physical energy into the exhibition. In many of the photos, something active is happening. The swimmer and the climber are in motion, a volcano has erupted, oil is propelled into the air.

Melissa Catanese, Sunset #3

Finally, the exhibit’s title relates directly to Shirley Jackson’s classic short story, The Lottery, in which a small community goes through a yearly ritual of selecting an individual and then stoning him or her to death. No one knows when or why the ritual began.

Clearly, Catanese is working in a different medium and living in a society quite different from the United States in the 1940s. However, she, like Jackson, is exploring culture, examining how influences direct and indirect impact our lives. That exploration requires a subtle grouping of images, an ability to play photos off each other, and confidence that viewers will respond to a singular type of exhibit. Catanese is up to the challenge, and the show is well worth extended viewing.

The Lottery is on display through July 22, 2022, at Light Work, located at 316 Waverly Ave. on the Syracuse University campus. The gallery is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 315-443-1300 or access www.lightwork.org.

Retirement Reflection:
Mary Lee Hodgens

In 1995 I started working for Light Work a couple of days a week as an office assistant. Mostly I entered new Contact Sheet subscribers into a simple database on a computer the size of a mini-fridge. The office was cramped and pretty dodgy, filled with mismatched, used furniture and rickety, metal shelving. I remember the swivel chair I sat in no longer swiveled and the upholstery stuffing was bursting through the worn and shabby gold fabric of the seat and arms. After recording new subscriber names that came through the mail weekly, I stamped the back of the checks and then walked to the bank and handed them to a teller. Then I swung back around the block to Cosmo’s, a greasy diner and pizza shop, long gone, and purchased a grilled cheese sandwich for my quirky office mate, the director.

Next to the office was the Community Darkroom, also cobbled together with used equipment and furniture. Literally carved out of a former cafeteria in the basement of a dorm, the space included a black-and-white wet darkroom, a color processor, lighting studio, and a computer lab. The best thing about the Community Darkroom was its incongruous mix of members—professionals, amateurs, artists, professors, students—all coming together to create and celebrate the magic of photography. The buzz and energy of the space was palpable. The artists often seemed genuinely surprised and delighted by their contact sheets, humbly acknowledging their luck. They used the words “capture” or “take” while also hoping for the grace of being in the right place at the right time, as though a photograph is at least partially a gift or a collaboration with something capricious. They shared the disappointments and frustrations of a swing and a miss, an elusive and sometimes frustrating creative process that artists never give up on. And there were always the “happy accidents,” a chemical process gone wrong or a light leak that only enhanced or added deeper meaning to an image. But for all of us, there was the energy of making.

Light Work staff, c. 1998 
John Freyer, Gary Hesse, Jeffrey Hoone, and Mary Lee Hodgens
hold a photograph of Light Work founders, Phil Block and Tom Bryan, c. 1973. 
Photo by David Broda 

In this funky DIY space, a few things really stood out to me that I remember recognizing and puzzling over. Those rickety shelves in the disheveled office held pristine piles of Contact Sheets and Menschel Gallery catalogues. Exquisitely printed, these shiny, colorful publications were pure joy to thumb through. And the essays were accessible, sincere, unpretentious. When I looked through the publications, I understood the shabby upholstery. When we mailed Contact Sheet out to the gate-keepers of the art world (gallery directors, museum curators, collectors, educators, journalists), I understood the broken swivel chair—I admired this rag-tag organization and thought this might actually work.

The most dramatic thing about Light Work was the way we treated the artists as honored guests. Every month another artist arrived with a suitcase and a camera. Light Work gave each one a check (in the 90’s it was $3,000), a furnished apartment to stay in, keys to the building, and 24-hour access. I remember many of artists arriving and attempting to express gratitude for the precious gift of time, an entire month ahead of them—the luxury of it was overwhelming. And the financial support made it possible. The artists, who arrived after a highly competitive process from among hundreds of applicants, all had an intense work ethic. Coming up for air only occasionally, they disappeared into the Community Darkroom and/or the community. They understood the gift they had earned and made the most of it.

The residency program, the community space (now called the Light Work Lab), the publications, and the galleries all flowed from the same simple idea that art is important, life-affirming, essential. And that artists need to run this space, for artists. All the talented employees, lab members, students, and artists I’ve met and worked with over the years have

been in on this truth and worked hard to make this mode of expression accessible. We have endured many high points and struggles over the past twenty-seven years—to quote my former office mate/director, “That’s why they call it work.” Light Work has had to reinvent itself many times over (and so have I), but I still feel the same way about it that I did in the beginning. That it works to give to these artists, to elevate them instead of ourselves. To honor them for the risk they take and the truth they tell. Also, I now sit on a Herman Miller Aeron chair with the lumbar roll.

Jeffrey Hoone, the recently retired executive director, hired me twenty-seven years ago and then continued to offer me and the rest of the staff many more exciting opportunities to participate in pulling this off. He insisted on listening to artists, responding to their needs, giving generously to them, encouraging them. He insisted on a steady dedication to diversity, refusing to water down the mission or build something self-serving. I hope that Light Work will always be artist-run, because resourceful, undaunted, determined, and impossible artists always seem to find a way.

Mary Lee Hodgens
Associate Director
Retired 2022

Impact: Project Healthy Minds: Online Benefit Auction

Light Work is thrilled to participate in the Impact: Project Healthy Minds online benefit auction. Organized by Artsy, a portion of the proceeds from each print sale will benefit Project Healthy Minds. Participating artists and organizations have committed to donating a percentage of their proceeds to help destigmatize mental health and expand access to mental health care.

From textiles to abstract canvases to figurative paintings, this sale spotlights 43 exemplary works by a group of emerging and critically acclaimed artists, including Lucia Hierro, Hank Willis Thomas, Marc Dennis, Bea Bonafini, and more. The works were hand-selected by curators Aindrea Emelife, Claudia Cheng, Hall W. Rockefeller, Marine Tanguy, Mollie Barnes, Samantha Coven Ehrlich, Storm Ascher, and Susanna Gold.

Light Work is pleased to feature three signed, limited edition, archival fine prints by acclaimed photographers, including Paul Mpagi SepuyaRodrigo Valenzuela, and William Wegman. Hung gallery style or as a singular statement piece, every image is a wonderful addition to any collection. 

Bidding in the auction is open exclusively online through Artsy and will close on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. EDT 

Raise Your Paddle. Bid Today. To view the works available, visit www.artsy.net/auction/impact-project-healthy-minds


Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Figure (_2100799), 2017
Archival inkjet print, 13 x 10” image on 17”x14” paper
Edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist

Rodrigo Valenzuela

American Type 15, 2019
Archival inkjet print, 14 x 11″ image on 15 x 12″ paper
Edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist

William Wegman

Cross Training, 2005
Silver gelatin print, 14 x 12″
Edition of 100, signed by the artist

Light Work was founded as an artist-run, non-profit organization in 1973. Its mission is to provide direct support through residencies, publications, exhibitions, a community-access digital lab facility, and other related projects to emerging and under-represented artists working in the media of photography and digital imaging.

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 http://lightwork.slideroom.com.

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 www.lightwork.org/opportunities

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 www.sujobopps.com (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 mentors@darrylchappellfoundation.com.

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 arts.gov/news.

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 Arts.gov​ to learn more.