Light Work E-Newsletter #49
May 15, 2008



Light Work Grant Recipients
Newsletter #49
May 2008


Light Work Announces the 2008 Light Work Grant Recipients

The 34th Annual Light Work Grants in Photography were recently awarded to three Central New York residents. The selected artists are Kathy Morris, Paul Pearce, and Nancy Keefe Rhodes. For the past 34 years, Light Work has awarded grants to photographers, critics and photo historians who reside in Central New York. The Light Work Grants in Photography program is a part of Light Work's ongoing effort to provide support and encouragement to artists working in photography. The grants also aim to foster an understanding and appreciation for photographic arts in Central New York.

The Light Work Grant is a fellowship that includes a $2,000 cash award, an exhibition at Light Work and publication in The Light Work Annual.Applicants were required to submit 10 examples of their work along with a short application form. Three judges from outside the grant area then selected the recipients based on the merits of their work.

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

Kathy Morris, Snake Staff Woods

Kathy Morris, Ithaca, Tompkins County

Kathy Morris's series Spinal Diary is, in her words, "a visual and written narrative about back pain, back surgery, healing, and the vulnerabilities of being one of the 47 million Americans without health insurance." Her images examine the current health care crisis. Her autobiographical series exemplifies how artists translate and transcend physical challenges through creative expression. Morris has exhibited nationwide, and she has received numerous grants and awards. Her work is included in permanent collections nationwide. She previously received the Light Work Grant in 1986.

Paul Pearce, Enviro-Mate Sack

Paul Pearce, Mattydale, Onondaga County

Paul Pearce's photographs question the concept of civilized societies, and look at the conflict between morality and militarism. He is, in his own words, "fascinated by the packaging of ideas and beliefs." Pearce's work looks back at his time as a combat war veteran, and his reactions to the policies and actions of that time. Pearce is an adjunct professor in photography at the State University of New York Oswego. His work has been exhibited nationwide. He received the Light Work Grant in 1981.

Nancy Keefe Rhodes, Fayetteville, Onondaga County

Nancy Keefe Rhodes won the 2008 Light Work Grant in Photography with a proposal for a photo-historian project in which she will prepare a selection of work by long-time local documentary photographer Marjory Wilkins for exhibition. Wilkins has been photographing Syracuse's African American community for over sixty years, including the now-vanished neighborhood of the 15th Ward. Rhodes will work with both Marjory and her son David, a photojournalist, to select and prepare the photographs for exhibition. She will also write an extended essay about the value and context of these historic images. Rhodes is a freelance arts journalist covering film, photography, and visual arts. She has written for such publications as Cineaste magazine and Syracuse's City Eagle.

Marjory Wilkins, Untitled

The judges for the 2008 Light Work Grants competition were Dennis DeHart, Cristina Fraire, and John Clark Mayden.

Dennis DeHart's photographs and interdisciplinary projects are compelled by the connections, conflicts, and intersections of the natural and cultural worlds. His work has been featured in numerous galleries internationally, published in a variety of books, and is featured in both private and public permanent collections. Argentinean photographer Cristina Fraire participated in Light Work's Artist-in-Residence program in 2008. Her images capture mountain shepherd communities that are isolated high in the Cordoba province - communities that do not use electricity or telephones, don't have roads, and depend on sheep as their single economic resource. Fraire's work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions internationally. John Clark Mayden participated in Light Work's Artist-in-Residence program in 2008. Mayden has worked in Baltimore's Law Department for twenty-six years. His work depicts the wide range of experiences found in inner city life, from good times and joy to drugs, misery, social injustice, and crime. Mayden's photographs have been exhibited nationwide, and are featured in permanent collections at Baltimore Museum of Art and Ohio Wesleyan University, among others.


Artist-in-Residence Update

Scott Conarroe

Scott Conarroe spent September through December 2007 working on a photographic study of North America's rail infrastructure, and he is dedicating his residency at Light Work to digitally scanning and printing these images. In Conarroe's words, "At this point in history, railroads connecting the settlements and mythic landscapes of this continent exist in various states from development opportunity to stubborn lifeline to artifact." This project has taken him through both urban and rural areas. Conarroe believes that the changes in rail travel over time can be discussed in relation to topics of climate change, globalization, as well as urban sprawl, and that the popularity of rail travel may grow given the difficulties of the current car culture. This project was supported by a Canada Council for the Arts Grant which Conarroe received in 2007.

Conarroe obtained his BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC, and his MFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, NS. His photographs have been exhibited internationally, and his work is featured in the permanent collections at Mt. St. Vincent's University Art Gallery in Halifax, NS; Kitchener/Waterloo Art Gallery in Kitchener, Ontario; and multiple private collections.


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