Light Work in premiere issue of Color Magazine

B&W Magazine has just premiered a sister publication, Color. Editor John Lavine describes color photography as “a vibrant and dynamic field, with content and concerns obviously related to but also different than that of black and white photography.” The emergence of a new publication dedicated to art photography is always exciting. We look forward to what is to come. As you are checking out the new publication, take a peek at the inside back cover, where our ad showcases the 2009 Light Work Fine Print Program with prints by Arno Minkkinen (platinum print), Marla Sweeney and Krista Steinke (pigmented inkjet prints), and Garie Waltzer (piezography print). And of course do not ignore the magazine’s content, especially Carol McCusker’s account of the history of color photography (part one of two). Carol wrote an essay on Lisa M. Robinson for The  Light Work Annual in 2007. You can view Lisa’s images and read Carol’s essay at our online collection.

Suzanne Opton Makes Headlines

The two photographic series Soldier and Citizen by Suzanne Opton are near and dear to us. We have watched the projects grow from Suzanne’s earliest images taken at Fort Drum. We were able to support Suzanne by inviting her to participate in our Artist-in-Residence in 2005. We then curated an exhibition with the Soldier series, and with the support of the Central New York Community Foundation were able to include billboards and lectures.

Years later and the work is still as timely as ever. The photographs that began as a quiet exploration of soldiers have grown into many exhibitions and have inspired many essays and news reports. The premier issue of One Hour Empire magazine features Suzanne’s photographs with an essay by Andrea Fitzpatrick. The online magazine Visura features a portfolio of Suzanne’s work. Her images can currently be seen in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum in NY. Soon additional exhibitions will be featured by the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, the Casino Luxembourg Forum d’art contemporain, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Washington Project for the Arts. The Soldier Billboard Project made national news with its multiple billboards that were placed around the country during election season. It just received additional funding for three additional billboards through the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Congratulations, Suzanne. We could not be prouder.

More AIR News

Karl Baden

Every single day, for over twenty years, Karl Baden has created a self-portrait. In Spring 2000, Karl exhibited at Light Work images from this series, and now the entire body of work can be viewed on Karl’s blog, Every Day.

Karl Baden self-portrait grid

Keith Johnson

Keith’s work, Suite Niagara, is on view February 1 – 28, 2009, at the Kehler Liddell Gallery.

Kehler Liddell Gallery
873 Whalley Ave.
New Haven, CT 06515
(203) 389-9555

Image from Keith Johnson's Suite Niagara

Cynthia Grieg

Cynthia’s work is on view through February 21 in Complicity: Contemporary Photography and the Matter of Sculpture at Rena Bransten Gallery.

Rena Bransten Gallery
77 Geary Street (between Kearny and Grant Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 982-3292

Opening of Prosthesis

A good crowd gathered at the Light Work Main Gallery on January 29 to celebrate the opening of Prosthesis. Artist Ellen Garvens attended the party, flying in from Seattle to enjoy the evening and answer questions about her photographs and photo-based sculptures. Ellen, who teaches photography at the University of Washington, Seattle, also gave a talk the night before to students at Comart.

Prosthesis will be in the Main Gallery until March 5.

Voices of Diversity Come Together

Light Work/Community Darkrooms was very pleased to supply working space and time in our labs in support of Lida Suchy’s long-term project Voices of Diversity. Lida photographed over 100 members of the Syracuse Community Choir, an organization dedicated to fostering social inclusiveness. After shooting the portraits with her 8 x 10 camera, Lida first made contact prints in our black-and-white lab. She then scanned those prints and utilized the tools in our digital lab to output the images in different formats, from large-scale grids to single portraits.

Like the choir it celebrates, Lida’s work in the labs was inclusive, attracting the participation of several Syracuse University students as well as choir and community members. Many years in the making, the exhibition is a true celebration of Syracuse and its people.

Voice of Diversity
ArtRage, The Norton Putter Gallery
505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse
January 15 – February 14, 2009
Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Friday, 2-7pm, Saturday, 12-4pm

Congratulations to 2009 Artists-in-Residence

We received a record number of applications this year—close to 400. Thanks to all who submitted materials and showed patience throughout the process.

We’re very pleased to have the following artists-in-residence in 2009:

Yolando del Amo (August)
Meggan Gould (May)
Leslie Hewitt (July)
Priya Kambli (December)
Dean Kessman (July)
Doug Manchee (June)
Rachelle Mozman (May)
Demetrius Oliver (April)
Eileen Perrier (August)
Shawn Records (November)
Chad States (June)

We do have a couple of residencies still open for the year, and we will review materials again in April 2009. Click here to find out how to apply.

Image: Leslie Hewitt, Riffs on Real Time (1 of 10), 2002-2005

Light Work AIR Hank Willis Thomas at Jack Shainman Gallery

Light Work AIR Hank Willis Thomas is opening his second solo exhibition at the Jack Shainman Gallery. The exhibit, Pitch Blackness, follows the publication of his first monograph, of the same name, by the Aperture Foundation this past fall, and his significant presence in the “30 Americans” exhibition at The Rubell Family Collection in December.

Employing polished materials typical of monuments and signage used to build corporate identity Thomas presents a range of work from large-scale sculpture in painted aluminum, neon, Plexiglas, and granite, to hand painted, stenciled works on canvas, wood carvings, and manipulated photo-based works. Together the works trace black history through visual culture in an attempt to dissect, reinterpret, and re-imagine iconic moments from the “black past” and to investigate the complexity and absurdity of race in America in the 21st century.

The exhibit is on view from February 12 until March 13.

Jack Shainman Gallery
513 W. 20th St.
New York, NY

Celebrating Light Work Artists

In its thirty-five years of artist support, Light Work has had the privilege to work with some pretty fabulous artists. Most of them were emerging or underrepresented when they came through our doors, and many of them have gone on to become household names in the arts (think Cindy Sherman, Renee Cox, and so forth). What we like best is for artists to come through our residency or exhibition program and go on to do great things, and we like it when other people notice them.

Here are just a few recent accomplishments: Light Work exhibition Ollin Mecatl: The Measure of Movements by Don Gregorio Antón (AIR 2006) was selected as one of the top best exhibitions in Syracuse in 2008 (Post Standard newspaper). The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA is currently featuring Pull of Gravity, an exhibition with Emmet Gowin (LW Grant 1977)  and Elijah Gowin (AIR 1998). The Kehler Liddell Gallery in New Haven, CT is featuring the exhibition Suite Niagara by Keith Johnson (AIR 2005). The Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco and New York City is opening the exhibition Connections in early February, featuring among others Gerald Cyrus (AIR 1995), Deborah Jack (AIR 2003), Sonya Lawyer (AIR 2007), Gordon Parks (LW exh 1995), Hank Willis Thomas (AIR 2005), Carrie Mae Weems (AIR 1988), and Carla Williams (AIR 1997). LACMA in Los Angeles held a video screening event for Suzanne Mejean (AIR 2007).

On the publishing front, Emmet and Elijah Gowin just published a beautiful book, Maggie, through Tin Roof Press. Aperture has published Hank Willis Thomas‘ book Pitch Black and is about to publish the monograph All the Days and Nights by Doug DuBois (LW Grant 2000 and 2005). The documentary film Born into Brothels by Zana Briski (AIR 1998) not only won her an Oscar but spilled into a breathtaking volume with the same title. KayLynn Deveney (AIR 2006) published her gentle book The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings through Princeton Architectural Press. And not long ago Lisa Robinson (AIR 2006) published her book Snowbound through Kehrer Verlag.

Light Work has a rich history of supporting artists through exhibitions, our Artist-in-Residence program, the Light Work Grant, publications and our public access workspace, Community Darkrooms. Our long history was recently summarized in a chronology and artist index in the anniversary issue of The Light Work Annual, CS147.

If you are a Light Work artist, please let us know about your recent achievements. Send us an update to We’d love to sing your praises and celebrate your exhibitions.

Image: Sonya Lawyer, Ivory M094

Rita Hammond's Gift to Remember

Light Work’s friendship with Rita Hammond spanned many decades, so when we were gifted a substantial number of prints and 3-D collages from her, we were honored. It is only now that we can share this work as generously as we had always hoped, by making all of the nearly 900 pieces available for viewing through our online collection.

Rita was a prolific worker, whose commitment to her work inspired others to equally lend their support. Over the years, many people have come together to make sure that Rita is not forgotten. Most notably, Julie Grossman, Ann M. Ryan, and Kim Waale edited the book A Due Voci: The Photography of Rita Hammond in 2003; and Gina Murtagh edited the book Images of a Girl. Images of a Woman in 2008. Both monographs were published by Syracuse Press. Much more of Rita’s work remains largely unexplored, yet is now available for those who are looking. Rita was a woman of quick witted humor. It is all too easy to imagine her beckoning with a glass of wine and inviting us to dig in.

Image: Untitled (with drawn arm), from the series Self-Portraits

Dawoud Bey, Lonnie Graham, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis: Embracing Eatonville

Embracing Eatonville
Exhibition Dates: February 1–May 29, 2009
Artist Lecture—Deborah Willis: April 8, 2009, 4:30pm

Light Work is pleased to announce the Embracing Eatonville exhibition, featuring the work of photographers Dawoud Bey, Lonnie Graham, Carrie Mae Weems, and Deborah Willis, on view in the Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery in Syracuse University’s Schine Student Center. The exhibition was featured in Light Work’s main gallery in 2003, then proceeded to travel to various galleries throughout the country. In celebration of diversity, Light Work has decided to show this meaningful exhibition again in conjunction with a lecture by Deborah Willis to be held in April. A limited re-issue of the Eatonville Portfolio, which offers four exquisite signed prints will also be offered for sale from Light Work.

Embracing Eatonville is a photographic survey of Eatonville, FL, the oldest black incorporated town in the United States, and place where celebrated writer Zora Neale Hurston lived and worked. Beginning in January 2002 Bey, Graham, Weems, and Willis spent time in Eatonville taking photographs in an effort to provide a meaningful reflection of the town’s spirit and character, while concentrating on its social, political, and cultural landscape. In response to the unique character of the community and its history, these artists produced a diverse portrait of Eatonville using both traditional and interpretive documentary methods. The special project that enabled these artists to go to Eatonville was created by Light Work and sponsored by the CNY Community Foundation.

Deborah Willis, one of the nation’s leading historians of African American photography and curator of African American culture, will visit Syracuse University to talk about the importance of preserving the history of African American communities in Syracuse through a photography archive. She will speak on April 8 at 4:30pm in the Maxwell Auditorium. Willis’ presentation, sponsored by the South Side Initiative, Light Work, and the Onondaga Historical Association, is free and open to the public. Funding was provided by Syracuse University’s U.Encounter Grant.

Dawoud Bey received his MFA from Yale University School of Art, and is a professor of art and photography at Columbia College Chicago. He has received numerous awards and fellowships over the course of his artistic career, and is currently represented in the United States by Rhona Huffman Gallery in Chicago. His work is included in permanent collections throughout America and Europe, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery London, among many others.

Lonnie Graham is the founder of the African/American Garden Project, a physical and cultural exchange program. He has exhibited his work internationally, and was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, one of the largest grants for an individual artist. He is presently a professor of Fine Arts at Pennsylvania State University and an instructor of special programs at the Barnes Foundation in Marion, PA.  He acts as a visiting instructor of Graduate Studies at San Francisco Art Institute, and is formerly a visiting professor at Haverford College in Philadelphia, PA. Graham’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA; the Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI; the Delaware Museum of Art in Wilmington, DE; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in Philadelphia, PA.

Carrie Mae Weems received a BA from the California Institute of the Arts and an MFA from the University of California at San Diego. She is an internationally recognized artist, and has won numerous awards and fellowships, including the 2005–2006 Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize Fellowship, and the Pollack Krasner Foundation Grant in Photography. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, and the Whitney Museum, among others. Weems’ work can be found in various permanent collections, such as at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Deborah Willis received her BFA from Philadelphia College of Art, her MA from City University of New York, her MFA from Pratt Institute and her PhD from George Mason University. In 2005 she was a Guggenheim Fellow and Fletcher Fellow. She was a MacArthur Fellow in 2000. She is a professor of photography and imaging at the Tisch School of Arts, New York University. Her work has been exhibited nationwide, including at Scottsdale Contemporary Art Museum in Scottsdale, AZ; Hand Workshop Art Center in Richmond, VA; and the Frick Collection in Pittsburgh, PA, among others.

Light Work invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition and facility. Light Work is a non-profit, 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 about any of these exhibitions, please contact Jessica Heckman at Light Work, 315-443-1300 or

**Digital press images and image information from this exhibition are available upon request.