2024 Light Work Grant Recipients

Light Work announces the 49th annual Light Work Grants in Photography! The 2024 award recipients are Malik Abdoulmoumine, Rosely Htoo, and Kari Varner. 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.

The two runner-ups for the 2024 Light Work Grants in Photography are Alex Cassetti and Ian Sherlock Molloy.

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 Annual. This year’s judges were Sydney Ellison, Lacey McKinney, and Darin Mickey.

A group exhibition of grant recipients’ work will be on view in the Jeffrey J. Hoone Gallery, running from May 31st – August 16th, 2024. An Opening Reception will take place on Friday, July 26th from 5-7 PM. 

Malik Abdoulmoumine

Malik Abdoulmoumine is an artist and painter born in Niger. He was raised in Italy, the United States, Ghana, and Liberia, and currently lives and works in New York. Abdoulmoumines works are observational and personal; he reflects on themes around identity, mental health, and conflicts in a globalized world. He confronts internal conflicts and celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, inviting viewers to reflect on the lived experience of a queer Black man navigating complex geopolitical landscapes. Abdoulmoumine received a BA in business studies from Lancaster University (Ghana) and recently completed his MA in marketing at Syracuse University. As a self-taught designer, Abdoulmoumine has engaged in material self-study and works predominantly across paintings and drawings. He obtained a filmmaking certification from Drama Queens (Ghana) in 2019. In 2020, he participated in a group exhibition with Gold Host. He has worked on group projects for Bard College, Limbo Accra, Tobi Onabolu, and, more recently, with Clifford Prince King for the Public Art Fund. 

Malik’s Website

Image: Untitled II, 2024

Rosely Htoo

Rosely Htoo is an artist based in New York State. She received an AS from Mohawk Valley Community College and a BFA from Syracuse University. Her multidimensional approach to art includes photography, videography, and installation, mediums that allow her to express her unique perspective and explore the complexities of the human condition. Drawing inspiration from biblical stories and the world around her, Rosely’s work delves into profound questions surrounding the origins of our fallen nature, the possibility of a perfect world, and the ambiguity of our existence. Her art captures the timeless and universal themes of human experience, inviting viewers to engage in a personal exploration of the deeper meaning of life. Rosely’s surroundings also significantly influence her creative process. Through her art, she invites viewers to immerse themselves in her vision and experience the profound themes of the human condition in new and thought-provoking ways. 

Rosely’s Website

Image: There must be more on the other side, 2023

Kari Varner

Kari Varner is a visual artist working in Binghamton. Her explorations of the landscape often take the form of photographs, installations, and ephemeral works. She received a BFA from the University of Denver and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions abroad, including the Palazzo Museo Bourbon del Monte in Monte Santa Maria Tiberina, Italy; the Basilica of San Marco in Florence, Italy; and Kunst(Zeug)Haus Rapperswil-Jona and Kammgarn West Schaffhausen in Switzerland. Previous exhibitions in the United States include the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis, the Candela Gallery in Richmond, VA, and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. Varner has been awarded residencies at Millay Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Wofford College, and Alfred University. 

Kari’s Website

Image: Monett & Sedalia, 2022