En Foco:New Works #17
On view from June 29, 2014-September 26, 2014
The President’s Gallery
Each artist’s work is unique in form. Juror Mary Virginia Swanson, Marketing Consultant, Educator and Author, states, “Many of the projects asked the viewer to look outward and consider issues from different perspectives, while others invited us to look inside and reconsider who we are as individuals living among others on this planet.”
Elva Salinas explores contemporary cultural dynamics surrounding the identities of Mexican-American women while Paccarik Orue documents the mining city of Cerro de Pasco, in the Peruvian Andes and the stories of its residents, their struggles, and environmental concerns.
William R. Wilson photographs Indigenous peoples using the wet plate collodion process, allowing the subjects of his photographs participate in the re-inscription of their customs and values in a way that leads to a more equal distribution of power in the cultural conversation.
Tomiko Jones work reflects her concern with clean water resources and ecological stewardship of public land while An Rong Xu intimately explores the evolving identity of Chinese Americans and the transition from immigrant to American, unpacking the disparity between assimilation and cultural heritage.
En Foco’s Executive Director and Editor, Miriam Romais, states: “The magical part of New Works, is to witness the process of creation over many months, as the artists bring their work to fruition. En Foco provides a confluence of tools and resources that nurture and encourage exploration –- we’re a stepping stone, and many times provide the first exposure to great talents that others soon notice, such as LaToya Ruby Frazier, Annu Palakunnatthu Matthew, Ana de Orbegoso or Osamu James Nakagawa.”
En Foco’s New Works Photography Fellowship Awards is an annual program that awards several U.S. based photographers of Latino, African or Asian heritage, and Native Peoples of the Americas and Pacific, through a free, national call for entries. The program helps artists create or complete an in-depth photographic series exploring themes of their choice, and provides the infrastructure needed for national visibility and a professional exhibition of their new work in the New York area. They are able to hone their craft, gain experience, exposure, funds, an exhibition and photo-related products.
The goal of is to identify and promote talented emerging and mid-career artists, creating a cross-cultural dialogue and providing artists with exposure and growth opportunities. Past jurors have included prestigious figures in the world of photography as Natasha Egan, Director and Curator at Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; Deborah Willis, curator, author, photographer and Chair of the Photo & Imaging Dept at NYU/TISCH; and many more.
Support for the 2013-2014 program has been provided by: the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Bronx Council on the Arts with additional support from Lowpro.
Image credits: (Descending order) Elva Salinas, Full of Grace from Morena Wrapped in White series; Paccarik Orue, Sin Titulo, from El Muqui series; William Wilson, Eric Garcia Lopez citizen of Tarasco First Nation, Dancer from The Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange series; Tomiko Jones, Rattlesnake Lake, from the Rattlesnake Lake series; An Rong Xu, Houston, Texas, from The Chinese Americans series.
Image: Will Wilson, Silversmith, 2012